Neymar could be forced to leave Barcelona


Neymar’s time at Barcelona could be coming to an end.

The Brazilian superstar, 23, joined Barca from Santos in 2013 with Barca claiming the transfer fee was $60.7 million but the Spanish authorities have questioned the transfer fee and believe it to be closer to $88.8 million.

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A lower transfer fee would mean less tax for Barca to pay and both their former president Sandro Rosell and current president Josep Maria Bartomeu will stand trial for tax evasion. Back in September Neymar also had over $45 million worth of assets frozen by the Brazilian authorities due to alleged tax fraud occurring between 2011 and 2013 when he was still at Santos.

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Speaking to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser ahead of Barca’s El Clasico clash with bitter rivals Real Madrid on Saturday, Neymar Sr said that the current situation needs to be revolved or his son will move overseas when his current contract expires in 2018.

“We’ve begun contract renewal talks, but there are outstanding issues that concern us, and which need to be resolved,” Neymar Sr said. “Since we arrived to Spain we have been under attack and it has extended to Brazil. For the last two-and-a-half years, we have had to defend ourselves from accusations. We will respect Neymar’s contract with Barca but regarding the contract extension, we need a deal that gives us peace of mind for Neymar, my companies and my family.

“We are not thinking of leaving Spain but we have a problem. We’ve never experienced such major tax issues. I don’t want to use the word persecution, but if the working environment here is not good, we won’t be able to remain in Spain and will have to leave the country.”

Neymar has been a beast for Barca over the past 12 months as he scored 43 times in all competitions last season to help the Catalan club to a La Liga, Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League treble while he is the La Liga leading scorer with 11 goals so far this campaign, stepping up his play with Lionel Messi out injured.

Speaking of Messi, he’s another Barca star embroiled in tax evasion allegations as he and his father were accused of wrongdoing by the Spanish authorities. That could have lead to jail time for the four-time World Player of the Year but the allegations against Messi were dropped, however his father remains in the spotlight as he handles his business affairs.