Ney­mar on cusp of record-break­ing move to PSG

Messi bids farewell to Ney­mar on In­sta­gram

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Ney­mar could be pre­sented as a Paris Saint-Ger­main player as early as this week­end for a world record fee as Barcelona ad­mit­ted de­feat in con­vinc­ing the Brazil­ian to stay at the Camp Nou yes­ter­day.

Wag­ner Ribeiro, an ad­vi­sor to the player, claimed PSG would pay his 222 mil­lion euro ($260 mil­lion) buy­out clause in the “com­ing hours” to more than dou­ble the cur­rent trans­fer record set by Paul Pogba’s £89.3 mil­lion ($111 mil­lion, 105.2 mil­lion eu­ros) move to Manch­ester United last year.

Ear­lier, Barcelona ended weeks of spec­u­la­tion by pub­licly con­firm­ing for the first time the 25year-old’s wish to leave af­ter four years at the Camp Nou. “Ney­mar Jr, ac­com­pa­nied by his fa­ther and rep­re­sen­ta­tive, com­mu­ni­cated to FC Barcelona this morn­ing his de­ci­sion to leave the club,” Barca said in a state­ment.

“The club have in­formed them that the buy­out clause in his con­tract, that from July 1 is 222 mil­lion eu­ros, must be paid in full.” Ney­mar has been tempted to Paris by an astro­nom­i­cal offer that would re­port­edly see his wages tripled to 30 mil­lion eu­ros a year af­ter tax.

How­ever, on the field he also faces the chal­lenge of step­ping out of the shadow of five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi to try and prove him­self as the world’s best. “It was a huge plea­sure hav­ing shared all those years with you, my friend @ney­marjr,” Messi posted on In­sta­gram along­side a mon­tage dis­play­ing some of the pair’s finest mo­ments to­gether.

“I wish you lots of luck in this new stage in your life. See you soon tkm,” he added. “Tkm” stands for “te quiero mu­cho” (I love you loads). Ney­mar has also been given per­mis­sion to stay away from train­ing un­til the deal is com­plete af­ter mak­ing a brief ap­pear­ance at Barca’s train­ing ground yes­ter­day morn­ing to say good­bye to his team­mates.

Pre­sum­ing both clubs don’t come to a late agree­ment, the buy­out clause would have to be paid to Barcelona via Spain’s La Liga to free the player from the con­tract he signed last year and runs un­til 2021.

How­ever, La Liga pres­i­dent Javier Te­bas has threat­ened not to ac­cept PSG’s money over what he per­ceives as a fail­ure on the French side’s part to com­ply with UEFA’s fi­nan­cial fair play rules (FFP). Clubs can be sanc­tioned by UEFA for mak­ing a loss of more than 30 mil­lion eu­ros over a three-year pe­riod. “We will not ac­cept this money from a club like PSG,” Te­bas told Madrid sports daily AS yes­ter­day. “Es­pe­cially when this club is in­fring­ing rules and laws.”

CHAM­PI­ONS LEAGUE DREAM

Win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League for a first time is the dream driv­ing PSG’s own­ers Oryx Qatar Sports In­vest­ments (QSI) to fund a deal that could her­ald the start of a new era at the elite level of Euro­pean foot­ball.

Since QSI’s takeover in 2011, PSG have failed to make it beyond the quar­ter-fi­nal stage in re­cent sea­sons - most notably blow­ing a 4-0 first leg lead to lose 6-1 to a Ney­mar-in­spired Barcelona in the last 16 of last sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion in March.

Pris­ing Ney­mar from the grip of Barca would truly an­nounce PSG’s pres­ence as a con­tender for the likes of Barca, Real Madrid and Bay­ern Mu­nich to fear. Ney­mar has formed one of the dead­li­est strike part­ner­ships in foot­ball his­tory with Messi and Luis Suarez over the past three sea­sons. To­gether they have won two La Liga ti­tles, a Cham­pi­ons League and three Span­ish Cups, whilst Ney­mar has scored 105 goals and pro­vided 80 as­sists in just 186 games.

How­ever, Ney­mar’s four-year spell in Spain has also been over­shad­owed by the murky trans­fer deal which brought him to Barcelona from San­tos in 2013. He and his par­ents as well as Barca pres­i­dent Josep Maria Bar­tomeu face charges of fraud and cor­rup­tion in an on­go­ing case brought by DIS, a Brazil­ian in­vest­ment com­pany.

DIS owned 40 per­cent of the play­ers’ rights at the time of the deal and be­lieve they were de­lib­er­ately cheated out of their real share due to the com­plex struc­ture of the trans­fer.

— AP

BARCELONA: In this Sun­day, Jan. 11, 2015 file photo, FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, right, Ney­mar, cen­ter, and Luis Suarez, cel­e­brate af­ter scor­ing against Atletico Madrid dur­ing a Span­ish La Liga soc­cer match at the Camp Nou sta­dium in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona said, yes­ter­day, Ney­mar’s 222 mil­lion euro ($262 mil­lion) re­lease clause must be paid in full if the Brazil striker wants to leave.

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