PSG chief finally breaks silence on €222m Neymar reports

Date published: Wednesday 2nd August 2017 8:02

Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser al-Khelaifi was giving little away regarding his club’s reported world-record bid to land Barcelona star Neymar – but admitted he hopes to talk further on the matter in the future.

Speculation is rife that PSG are seeking to activate the €222million (£199million) release clause in Neymar’s contract with Barca and make the Brazil forward the most expensive player in history.

Our story on Tuesday said the club were already making plans for the player’s grand unveiling in Paris.

That would be more than double the fee Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer and has sparked rumours that Barca could make a complaint to UEFA over a purported failure to adhere to Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by the Ligue 1 outfit.

PSG chief Al-Khelaifi was quizzed on the subject by Moroccan broadcaster Medi 1 TV over the weekend, but was largely keeping his cards close to his chest.

In quotes reported by various European news outlets, Al-Khelaifi said: “I think this matter is a little premature. Right now, Neymar is a Barcelona player and we’ll see what happens with him.

“We respect all contracts signed with other clubs and players.

“To be honest, I’d rather not to talk about this matter now. I hope to do it at another time. I prefer not to give percentages, everything in its time.”

Neymar, who has a contract with Barca until 2021, joined the Catalan giants from Santos in 2013 and has developed into one of the game’s leading players.

In his four years at the Nou Camp, the 25-year-old has helped Barca win LaLiga twice, the Champions League, three Copa del Reys and the FIFA Club World Cup.

That success has not gone unnoticed by rival clubs and Neymar has regularly been linked with a big-money move away from Barca.

However, it looks like PSG have jumped to the front of the queue and media reports on Monday suggested Neymar would meet Al-Khelaifi in Qatar on Tuesday to discuss a potential record-breaking transfer.

There has been nothing official on that front, but Al-Khelaifi has made no secret of the fact that PSG – deposed by Monaco as French champions last season – are looking to attract marquee players to the Parc des Princes.

He added: “Neymar is a world star, but, I repeat, he is currently a Barcelona player.

“Signing a star is not only a question of name or reputation, but also of style of play.

“PSG’s ambition is to have great world-renowned players to raise the reputation of the club and give the players and the coach the level that they are hoping to achieve.”

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