Barcelona star Neymar stops off in Dubai as speculation mounts over record move to PSG

Brazilian forward made a brief stop in the UAE on his way back from China, although his football future is yet to be resolved.

Neymar of Barcelona reacts during their International Champions Cup football match at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Miami, Florida. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL
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Brazilian forward Neymar has made a pit-stop in Dubai following his commitments in China as speculation continues to mount regarding a world recrod move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 25, was in China due to commercial responsibilities and has stopped off in the UAE where he posted photos to his Instagram account of him enjoying lunch with a group of friends.

Whether Neymar has stopped in Dubai on his way back to Europe or if he will make the short journey to Qatar has not yet been confirmed, with certain reports claiming the Brazilian will head to Doha to meet with the PSG owners.

It has also been reported by Mundo Deportivo in Spain that Neymar is set to become an ambassador for the 2022 Qatar World Cup for which he will be paid €300 million (Dh1.3 billion), although this too is yet to be confirmed.

Neymar has been at the centre of the biggest transfer saga of the summer, with PSG ready to pay the €222m buyout clause in the Brazilian's Barcelona contract.

Neymar posts on his Instagram story as he enjoyes lunch with friends in Dubai. Neymarjr / Instagram
Neymar posts on his Instagram story as he enjoyes lunch with friends in Dubai. Neymarjr / Instagram

Barcelona's senior players, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, and Gerard Pique have all got involved either privately or publicly to urge Neymar to stay at the Camp Nou. Pique even posted a photo on Instagram with Neymar with the caption "He stays".

However, it seems increasingly likely that Neymar will make the move to the French club where he has reportedly been offered a five-year contract worth €560,000 per week.

Even if PSG fail in their pursuit of Neymar, Barcelona have already stated they will file a complaint to Uefa over how the French club could afford to pay the fees required without breaking Financial Fair Play rules.


Indeed, Barcelona have blocked payment of a €26m bonus for Neymar, a source at the club said Tuesday.

"These €26m have been placed with a notary pending to see if the player continues," the source, who refused to be named, told AFP.

The renewal bonus was agreed on a year ago when Neymar extended his contract with Barcelona until 2021, and was due to be paid to the player after he completed a year. But the club has decided to put it on hold pending to see how the situation evolves.

The contract Neymar signed also increased an early termination clause from 200 to €222m, which PSG is reportedly willing to pay.

Neymar's future is the talk of Spanish football, and particularly Barcelona supporters.

After a successful pre-season tour in the United States that saw Barcelona win against Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid, the footballer flew to China for a promotion trip. But he studiously avoided commenting on the situation.

On Wednesday, Barcelona players resume training after their summer break, with a double session in the morning and in the afternoon. Neymar has been called to the training, the club source said, although Spanish sports media doubt he will show up.

Barcelona have reportedly lined up Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho, incidentally a childhood friend of Neymar's, should the latter move to PSG, while the Primera Liga club are also credited with an interest in Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, however, is adamant Coutinho will not be sold.