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Where is Neymar? Will Barcelona star sign for PSG in Qatar?
Rumours about Neymar's potential move from Barcelona to Qatar-owned Paris Saint-Germain are growing stronger, with claims of a medical in Doha and a grand unveiling at the Eiffel Tower to mark his arrival.
However, neither player nor clubs have confirmed any move. So what do we know so far?
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According to The Guardian, PSG have a contract in place and "hope to conclude a deal this week to buy the forward from Barcelona for a world record £197m, the Brazilian's release clause".
The contract is for five years, adds the paper. "The structure of the transfer, including Neymar's £26m-a-year salary, is not yet known but PSG are adamant they will respect financial fair play regulations. To make sure they do not expose themselves to sanctions they are preparing to sacrifice some members of the squad."
In order not to fall foul of the rules, the French club "might have to be inventive", says the Daily Telegraph.
Josep Maria Bartomeu, president of Barcelona FC, does not believe it is possible for a club to buy Neymar without contravening FFP rules, while La Liga president Javier Tebas told Spanish newspaper Marca he would report PSG.
"They cannot make up some commercial numbers that are bigger than Barcelona or Real Madrid," he said. "Nobody believes that, which means that the state of Qatar is injecting money and that violates Financial Fair Play."
The Brazilian superstar was reported to be in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, amid talk of a medical in Qatar.
"The unsettled Barcelona star has left Asia, where he was taking part in sponsorship responsibilities, and flown to Dubai," says the Daily Mail. "Neymar was expected to fly to Doha to undergo a medical with the French giants but he appears to have made a pit stop in Dubai."
Neymar may find getting from the UAE to Qatar is harder than expected, given the recent diplomatic row between the two states.
But rumours of a Middle Eastern medical are scotched by Goal.com, which says the deal is not yet finalised and that the player will "report back to Barcelona to resume training on Wednesday".
"When PSG bought Zlatan Ibrahimovic five summers ago they welcomed him on the Trocadero at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. The club are planning something even bigger for Neymar," claims The Guardian.
However, the French club have not been able to hold events there since violence marred their celebration of the 2013 league title, says ESPN.
ESPN believes an event at the Parc des Princes is "more likely than a glitzy gathering" in the French capital.
"There is another possibility altogether," adds the website. "That is that PSG's Qatari owners unveil the player in Doha."
PSG deal to lure Neymar from Barcelona is worth £500m
Every footballer has his price and in the case of Neymar it's a staggering £500m. According to the Sunday Times Paris Saint-Germain are "expected to formalise their bid" for the Barcelona superstar this week in a deal that will make all preceding big money transfers look like loose change.
If the deal goes through, the paper claims that Neymar will pocket £55m a season in the French capital. The paper says that instrumental in driving through the record-breaking deal is Neymar's dad, whose commission will be around £23.3m. The Times says that Neymar Santos Sr has asked PSG to "delay formal negotiations on the transfer" until after 31 July because of a deal cut with Barcelona when they signed Neymar in 2013 from Brazilian club Santos.
A clause in the contract obliged Barcelona to pay Neymar's dad a commission if he left the club after the end of July 2017.
The breakdown of the £500m move, according to the Times, is that the actual transfer fee will be £198.7m (€222m) and then over five years Neymar will be paid £275m by the Qatar-owned club. It's claimed in the Spanish press that although Barcelona are reluctant to sell, they are increasingly resigned to seeing the 25-year-old frontman leave this summer.
Consequently, says the Sunday Times they have identified Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho as Neymar's replacement and they hope to lure him from Anfield in the coming weeks. Apparently the Catalan outfit have already tabled a £71.6m bid, which was rejected by Liverpool, but Barcelona "are expected to increase that bid".
However, Sky Sports has a different name for Neymar's replacement, its source is Spanish rag Marca, with the broadcaster claiming that it's not Coutinho but Antoine Griezmann that Barcelona are eyeing up. The Frenchman, who scored 26 goals last season for Atletico Madrid, would cost Barca in the region of €100m.
But will the Neymar deal ever actually come to pass? Sky Sports News reports that the Spanish League will lodge an official complaint with Uefa if PSG do get their man. That's because in the eyes of the League's president, Javier Tebas, "if PSG pay Neymar's €220m release clause they would be breaking Uefa's financial fair play rules" And should Uefa choose to ignore their complaint, then the Spanish league will turn to the relevant courts in Spain and France in a bid to ensure Neymar stays in Spain.
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