Barca bids to nul­lify Ney­mar spec­u­la­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

BARCELONA — Barcelona vice-pres­i­dent Jordi Mestre said on Tues­day that Brazil­ian star Ney­mar will be stay­ing in Spain de­spite ru­mors link­ing him with a move to Paris Saint-Ger­main.

Asked dur­ing a me­dia con­fer­ence if he could con­firm Ney­mar would re­main at Barca ahead of the new sea­son, Mestre replied: “200 per­cent”.

Re­ports in Spain have sug­gested PSG is look­ing to lure the 25-year-old to Parc des Princes after snap­ping up Ney- mar’s in­ter­na­tional team­mate Dani Alves on a free transfer.

“PSG wants to fi­nal­ize the sign­ing of Ney­mar this sum­mer”, wrote Cata­lan daily Sport, while the Madrid-based AS news­pa­per led with the head­line “Ney­mar flirts with PSG”.

PSG is re­port­edly at­tempt­ing to take ad­van­tage of Ney­mar’s de­sire to step out of Lionel Messi’s shadow, with the French club pre­pared to build a team around the Brazil for­ward.

“In the back­ground of Ney­mar’s an­noy­ance there’s al­ways a con­cern, which has to do with his role in the team and his wish to be­come a leader,” wrote Sport.

“But you have to be aware that there are no short­cuts to lead­er­ship and it is some­thing that is earned slowly, nat­u­rally and pro­gres­sively.”

Ac­cord­ing to Marca, PSG would be will­ing to stump up the $257 mil­lion fee re­quired to trig­ger Ney­mar’s re­lease clause and would of­fer him a five-year deal worth around $35 mil­lion a sea­son.

How­ever, a re­port in French sports daily L’Equipe on Tues­day quoted a PSG source as say­ing: “We’re not go­ing to re­peat the Ney­mar show. There is a huge re­lease clause and you have to be re­al­is­tic.”

PSG has pre­vi­ously been linked with Ney­mar only for the striker to pen a new fiveyear deal with Barca last Oc­to­ber.

Last week, Barcelona cel­e­brated a lu­cra­tive new spon- sor­ship deal with Ja­panese ecom­merce firm Rakuten in Tokyo .

“The ob­jec­tive is al­ways to win, whether or not I score goals,” said Ney­mar at the sign­ing cer­e­mony.

“We are a team,” added the Brazil­ian. “If I can score goals ob­vi­ously I’ ll be happy, but with (Gerard) Pique and Messi, and the other play­ers score goals that’s also good. As long as the team wins, I’m happy.”

NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IM­AGES

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte is typ­i­cally an­i­mated dur­ing the Blues’ FA Cup fi­nal loss to Ar­se­nal in May.

REUTERS

Lionel Messi (left) and Ney­mar at­tend a Tokyo me­dia con­fer­ence last week to an­nounce a spon­sor­ship deal be­tween Barcelona and Ja­panese e-com­merce op­er­a­tor Rakuten.

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