Neymar, Santos FC Agree Contract Extension

STUTTGART, GERMANY - AUGUST 09: Neymar attendsa training session of the Brazil National football team at Mercedes-Benz Arena on August 9, 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany. Germany will play a friendly match against Brazil at Mercedes-Benz Arena on August 10, 2011 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

In-demand Brazilian prodigy Neymar has signed a contract extension with FC Santos through the 2013/14 season.

Brazilian prodigy Neymar appears to have quashed speculation of an immediate move to Europe by signing a two-year contract extension with Brazilian Serie A side Santos. The deal includes a 50% pay raise and will keep him with the defending Copa Libertadores champions until after the 2014 World Cup, and the specifics are fairly noteworthy: According to Brazilian football expert Jack Lang Neymar's wages will be at least partially be paid by Santos sponsors Banco de Brasil. It's a novel approach probably the only way the club can afford to keep him around - he's been linked to some absolutely huge clubs in Europe, including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea - and it's a very clever piece of business by Santos.

What's slightly odd about this deal is that Neymar is basically opting to stay on a team that's no longer very good. Santos have been hemorrhaging players - the 19-year-old aside - and as a result are sitting in 9th place with almost as many losses as wins. Neymar has failed to impress on the global stage thus far, and a miserable Copa America performance has seen his stock fall since the 2010/11 season. Could it be that he's not ready to move and knows it?

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