Football: PSG to launch record $353 million bid for Neymar

Brazil forward Neymar appears poised to make a blockbuster move to French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.
Brazil forward Neymar appears poised to make a blockbuster move to French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Brazilian will be world's highest-paid player, with father to earn hefty commission in deal

LONDON • Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are set to formalise their attempt to sign Barcelona star Neymar this week in a deal worth more than £500 million (S$891 million).

It would make the Brazil international the world's highest-paid footballer alongside Lionel Messi, with an annual salary of £55 million.

The transfer would also see Neymar's father receive commissions worth eight figures, with The Times of London estimating the amount to be £45 million.

It is believed that Neymar Santos Sr has asked PSG to delay formal negotiations on the transfer from Barcelona until after today.

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According to Camp Nou sources, today marks the day when Neymar's father earns a £23.3 million commission for his role in getting the forward to sign an extension with Barcelona last October.

The player's contract with the Spanish giants ends in 2021.

Barcelona's obligation to pay that commission would have been void had the player left before the end of this month.

  • £45m

    Amount Neymar Sr could make if his son moves to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar Sr stands to earn another substantial sum - probably at least 10 per cent of the transfer fee - from the French club for convincing his son to join the Qatar-owned club.

That world-record transfer fee amounts to the €222 million (S$353 million) release clause in Neymar's revised contract that PSG must activate to extract the player from Barcelona.

With the 25-year-old likely to be offered a five-year contract, the real cost of the deal to PSG could balloon beyond £500 million.

The size of the deal has led many observers to question if the move is possible, owing to Uefa's Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules that limit a team to losses of no more than €30 million over a three-year cycle. And that is despite PSG's mega-money sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority.

But a source told ESPN that PSG have found a way to activate Neymar's clause within FFP limits.

A source also told ESPN that PSG are so certain they will get their man that they have already discussed how to unveil their latest marquee signing.

But LaLiga chief Javier Tebas yesterday threatened to file a complaint with Uefa for FFP breaches against PSG over their pursuit of the superstar.

"LaLiga will file this complaint because it's a problem for LaLiga's competitiveness. Today it's happened to Barca, tomorrow it could happen to Real Madrid, it's happened to Atletico Madrid," Tebas, the LaLiga chairman, told Mundo Deportivo.

According to Tebas, "no one believes" the commercial revenue figures presented by PSG to justify their spending.

"PSG cannot have figures in which PSG's commercial rights exceed those of Real Madrid and Barcelona," he said. "No one believes that. We've carried out economic studies and it's impossible.

"It means that the Qatari state is injecting money and that violates Uefa's financial fair play rules and the European Union's norms of economic competition, and we're going to file a complaint."

In 2014, PSG were fined €60 million and handed transfer spending restrictions by Uefa for breaching FFP rules.

Uefa's club financial control body has also stated that PSG's €200 million-a-year image rights contract with the Qatari tourist board is inflated and double its "true value".

THE TIMES, LONDON, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'PSG to launch $353m record bid for Neymar'. Print Edition | Subscribe