Football: Neymar bust-up fuels PSG rumours

Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar takes part in a training session at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on July 28, 2017.
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar takes part in a training session at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida, on July 28, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI • Brazilian striker Neymar stormed out of a Barcelona training session on Thursday, as speculation mounted about a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

A personal appearance in China next week was also cancelled because he was said to be "busy with transfer business".

Pictures of Barca training in Miami for today's (tomorrow, Singapore time) game against arch-rivals Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup showed Neymar having to be kept apart from new team-mate Nelson Semedo before removing his bib and stomping away from the session.

Suggestions that he might have weighty matters on his mind increased when Chinese travel agent Ctrip posted on its official Weibo account that it has had to cancel an event on Monday with Neymar.

"It's with great regret that we must announce the cancellation of Neymar's forthcoming 'fans meeting' set to begin in Shanghai on July 31," read a statement from Ctrip.

"Mr Neymar and his team occupy themselves, dealing with transfer issues and they cannot say for sure whether they could manage to arrive in Shanghai on July 31. So we decided to cancel the fans' meeting."

PSG have reportedly held discussions with Barcelona about a transfer for the 25-year-old that would smash the world record £89 million pounds (S$158 million) Manchester United paid for France midfielder Paul Pogba last year.

Neymar's buy-out clause was set at more than €200 million (S$318 million), but that does not appear to have deterred PSG, who are backed by Qatari finance and lost their French Ligue 1 title to Monaco last season.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2017, with the headline 'Neymar bust-up fuels PSG rumours'. Print Edition | Subscribe