Neymar's move: Opinions split over record fee

LONDON • Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp's conflicting views on Brazilian striker Neymar's imminent move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain offer an insight into how the €222 million (S$358.46 million) deal has divided opinion across football.

Mourinho, who sanctioned Paul Pogba's world-record €105 million move from Juventus to Manchester United last year, said PSG were not paying over the odds given Neymar's quality, but he is concerned by the financial "consequences".

"When we paid that amount for Paul, I said that it was not expensive," United manager Mourinho said. "Expensive are the ones who get into a certain level without a certain quality. For €200 million, I don't think (Neymar) is expensive.

"But now you are going to have more players at £100 million (S$178.6 million), at £80 million and at £60 million. And I think that's the problem."

Liverpool manager Klopp criticised the deal and questioned the effectiveness of Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, which stipulate that a club's wage bill must not exceed 70 per cent of its revenue.

"There are clubs that can pay fees like that - Manchester City and PSG. Everyone knows that," the German said on Wednesday.

City are owned by United Arab Emirates billionaire Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al Nahyan, while PSG were taken over in 2012 by Qatar Sports Investments, an arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund.

"I thought fair play was made so that situations like that can't happen. So I don't know how it happens," Klopp added.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2017, with the headline 'Opinions split over record fee'. Print Edition | Subscribe