Neymar in Shang­hai as trans­fer ru­mours grow

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - —AFP

Neymar greeted fans in Shang­hai yes­ter­day as spec­u­la­tion mounted that the Brazil star could be set to quit Barcelona for Paris Saint-Ger­main for a world-record 222 mil­lion eu­ros.

The 25-year-old striker is at the cen­tre of an ap­par­ent tug of war be­tween the two Euro­pean gi­ants in what would be the most ex­pen­sive trans­fer fee in foot­ball his­tory. A train­ing spat with new Barcelona sign­ing Nel­son Semedo dur­ing a pre-sea­son tour in Mi­ami ramped up chat­ter that Neymar could be about to swap Spain for the French cap­i­tal.

Neymar, who has re­mained tight-lipped about the trans­fer ru­mours, posted a mes­sage for Chi­nese fans on Weibo, China’s equiv­a­lent of Twit­ter, af­ter ar­riv­ing for a pro­mo­tional visit. “Ni Hao China! I’m Neymar Jr. and I’ve just ar­rived in China,” he wrote yes­ter­day.

“I’m in Shang­hai at the mo­ment. I would like to send a huge hug to all my Chi­nese fans, thank you very much for your sup­port.” He posted mes­sages in English and Chi­nese and asked for sug­ges­tions as to what he should do while in Shang­hai, where he was sched­uled to ap­pear at an event for a fash­ion brand later.

Separately, China’s big­gest on­line travel com­pany Ctrip had said it was can­celling an event with Neymar yes­ter­day in Shang­hai be­cause he and his ad­vis­ers were “busy with trans­fer is­sues”. Peo­ple close to the player sub­se­quently told me­dia there had never been an ar­range­ment with the firm.

Even af­ter the train­ing-ground bust-up in the United States, af­ter which Neymar ap­peared to storm off, his Barcelona team­mates said they wanted him to stay at the Camp Nou. “Neymar and I, we are very close and I want him to stay and I know the sit­u­a­tion,” de­fender Ger­ard Pique told ESPN FC.

“Right now he doesn’t know what to do and we are try­ing to help him-the ones (on the team) that are more close to him-to take the right de­ci­sion.” PSG’s pur­suit of Neymar has an­gered some in Spain, where foot­ball league chief Javier Te­bas says he will file a com­plaint with UEFA for fi­nan­cial fair play breaches by the French club.

— AFP

SHANG­HAI: Brazil­ian foot­baller Neymar Jr. looks on as he speaks to me­dia at a fash­ion event in Shang­hai yes­ter­day. Neymar hit the red car­pet in Shang­hai as spec­u­la­tion mounted that the Brazil star could be set to quit Barcelona for Paris Saint-Ger­main for a world-record 222 mil­lion eu­ros.

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