Neymar of Brazil's Santos celebrates after scoring against Bolivia's Bolivar during their Copa Libertadores soccer match in Santos

Get ready for an interminal summer of Neymar-to-Barcelona talk

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This Neymar business is going to get old quick, mostly because there seems to be very little chance of him actually moving this summer. Yet as much as I want to say undoubtedly and uncategorically that the 21-year-old Santos star won’t leave before his contract runs out in 2014, I’ve been around long enough to know: Young star moves to Europe wouldn’t be the most dramatic turnaround in world transfer history. Come next fall we could see him at Barcelona.

That it’s Barcelona – not Real Madrid, Chelsea, or the myriad other clubs Neymar’s been linked to since coming to prominence four years ago – we can be fairly certain. By all indications (this being one), the star has made it clear he only wants to Cataluyna. His father has gone so far as to confirm contact with both Spanish giants, yet he’s been seen meeting with Barcelona, with his national team coach also confirming contact with the Catalans.

That meeting has re-ignited speculation Neymar could move sooner rather than later, but there are still a number of reasons for him to stay in Brazil. His contract, which runs through next summer, is the most obvious reason, but there are also the constant public proclamations he (and his father) has made over the last two years. And because he is so well compensated in a country whose economy (soccer or otherwise) continues to surge, there’s less financial incentive for Neymar to jump the pond.

Santos, on the other hand, may not mind seeing Neymar go. Thanks to national team duty (specifically, the Confederations Cup, among other commitments), their star player is set to miss a huge chunk of time this summer, as the Brazilian league does not stop for international match days. If Neymar decided to leave, Santos could take some of their Barcelona money, invest it in some of the Brazilians returning from Europe, and potentially be better off for it.

All of which sets up a summer that will be either anticlimactic or nauseating, as far as Neymar is concerned. If he stays, it’s nothing but what we should have expected all along. If he goes, the splendor’s already been ruined by four years of trampling the story into the ground. Aside from Neymar changing his mind about Barcelona, there’s nothing new that can happen with this story.

Such is the excruciating world of soccer transfer rumors, particularly when you’re talking about a player like Neymar. By the time we get the reveal, the trick’s already been ruined. All you can think of how much time you wasted watching the show.

Mourinho’s agent: Coach paid $27 million in taxes in Spain

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United stands alongside his substitute Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on December 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
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MADRID (AP) Jose Mourinho’s agent says the Manchester United manager paid more than 26 million euros ($27 million) in taxes when he lived in Spain from 2010-13.

The information was made public on Tuesday by Gestifute, a company run by Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes.

[ MORE: Pulisic wanted by Arsenal, Spurs ]

The Portuguese company has been releasing details about its clients’ tax declarations after European media outlets published what they claimed were details of apparent tax arrangements made by top soccer players and coaches, including Mourinho, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Ozil.

Gestifute, which also has Ronaldo as a client, has already published documents allegedly showing that Spanish fiscal authorities have certified that Mourinho and Real Madrid star Ronaldo are “up to date on … obligations.”

Mourinho coached Real Madrid from 2010-13 and took charge of United this season.

Staying in Dallas: New contract for MLS Defender of the Year Hedges

HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 12:  Giles Barnes #10 of the Houston Dynamo battles for the ball with Matt Hedges #24 of FC Dallas during their game at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 12, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images
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This is going to turn out to be one of the most exciting years of Matt Hedges’ life.

The FC Dallas man lead one of the best back lines in Major League Soccer to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.

[ MORE: PST talks with Hedges, Zimmerman ]

He’s also likely set for a chance to return to the USMNT fold under new coach Bruce Arena, as Hedges is one of the best players to be largely ignored by Jurgen Klinsmann.

Hedges, 26, was named the MLS Defender of the Year and made the Best XI, and now he’s inked a new long-term deal with FC Dallas.

The four-year deal will keep Hedges in Dallas through his 30th birthday. Capped once, Hedges has 159 appearances with 11 goals for FCD.

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Two more Pulisic suitors in North London? USMNT teen in demand

Dortmund's Emre Mor, left, celebrates with Dortmund's Felix Passlack and Dortmund's Christian Pulisic, right, after scoring during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and SV Darmstadt in Dortmund, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. Dortmund defeated Darmstadt with 6-0. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
AP Photo/Martin Meissner
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Christian Pulisic is one of the most exciting young prospects in the world.

It’s a statement that isn’t often said without hyperbole when it comes to American standouts, but the 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund man has seen his names in the gossip pages a few times this year.

While Liverpool has often been the destination, Italian site Calcio Mercato says Premier League interest is wider than Merseyside. The clubs? Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

[ VOTE: Who should win USMNT player of year? ]

Dortmund doesn’t want to sell the youngster, who is locked up through 2019. The whispered price has been $31 million at a minimum, but perhaps BVB would be tempted given their wealth of young attacking options.

Pulisic has made 27 appearances for Borussia Dortmund, nabbing four goals and six assists. He has 11 caps and three goals for the USMNT as well.

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Real Madrid asks for “utmost respect” to Ronaldo following tax drama

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 03:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid reacts after missing a chance during the La Liga  match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at Camp Nou on December 3, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo had been linked with massive tax evasion, but Real Madrid would ask you to kindly go back to treating him like a king now that he’s proven his innocence.

In a move usually reserved for politicians aiming for high office, Ronaldo’s agent released some of his tax documents to prove everything’s above board.

It all looks good, unlike what befell Neymar and Lionel Messi, so back off, huh?

[ MORE: Wednesday’s Champions League preview ]

From Real Madrid:

In view of the stories published over recent days and in consideration of the certificate issued by the Spanish Tax Agency which confirms that our player Cristiano Ronaldo is up to date with all of his tax obligations, Real Madrid C. F. call for the utmost respect to be shown towards Cristiano Ronaldo, whose conduct has been absolutely exemplary throughout all of his time at our club.

Only the utmost for CR7.

Real Madrid hosts Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday in a match which will decide Group F of the UEFA Champions League.

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