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Neymar already looking to extend his contract with PSG

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SAO PAULO (AP) Neymar’s father says the Brazil striker is already looking to extend his contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar da Silva Santos says in an interview published on Monday there is “a very big” likelihood his son will stay at the French club after his current contract ends. Neymar is in the second year of a five-year deal.

[ MORE: Liverpool ready to sell Keita? ]

Neymar’s father, who is also his agent, says “we are already going for an extension with PSG.”

“He is always among the (transfer) targets,” Santos told news website UOL. “But that doesn’t mean he is going to one club or to another.

“His name is part of speculations since age 17, when he had his professional debut. Neymar has two transfers in his life, but it has been 10 years of speculations. The likelihood that he doesn’t leave (PSG) is very big.”

Neymar moved from Barcelona to PSG for 222 million euros (about $250 million) in 2017. The 27-year-old Brazilian is recovering from a foot injury and is expected to return in April.

The father-agent said he wants Neymar to play for another 10 years “so it ends like we are today: Happy.”

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports //

Neymar charged for actions, comments after VAR controversy

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Neymar, the world’s most expensive footballer, has been charged by UEFA for “insulting and/or molesting acts against the match official” following the video-review controversy which ultimately eliminated Paris Saint-Germain from the UEFA Champions League earlier this month.

[ MORE: Sane, Gundogan allegedly racially abused on Germany duty ]

While Neymar was unable to play in the game due to a broken metatarsal, he was seen near the PSG bench in the game’s final minutes, waiting to celebrate progression to the quarterfinals with his teammates. Then came the controversial decision to award Manchester United a penalty kick deep into stoppage time, which sent the Red Devils through instead.

[ MORE: Report: Man United stars lined up for exit ]

Once the following whistle had blown, Neymar is alleged to have attempted to confront referee Damir Skomina, but was eventually restrained. He then took to Instagram where he posted some quite unsavory comments:

“This is a disgrace, they put four people that know nothing about football in charge of looking at the replay for VAR. There is no penalty. How can it be a handball when it hits his back?! Go f**k yourselves!”

A hearing will take place at a later date to determine what, if any, punishment Neymar will receive.

Mbappe, Neymar reportedly won’t try to leave PSG

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Two of the world’s brightest attacking stars look set to stay in Paris for another season, says ESPN.

Kylian Mbappe and Neymar will not angle to leave Paris Saint-Germain in the summer despite big money interest from Real Madrid, who is in the market to spend big on some Galacticos to play with Vinicius Junior.

[ MORE: PL Player of Year candidates ]

The report says Financial Fair Play concerns will dictate a number of sales, with Giovani Lo Celso, Jese Rodriguez, Grzegorz Krychowiak, Thomas Meunier, Layvin Kurzawa, and Christopher Nkunku speculated as possible exits.

Meanwhile, AS reports that PSG is interested in Antoine Griezmann should it get a suitable bid for either Mbappe or Neymar.

It would make some sense for PSG. At 27, Neymar has been fabulous while healthy but has missed long stretches of each of the last two seasons with injury.

Les Parisiens could replace him with Griezmann, a French World Cup hero, who carries a $226 million release clause which AS says will not be negotiated by Atletico Madrid. How much more would Neymar cost Real than that? He went for around $254 million in 2017.

How much different will PSG look next year? Adrien Rabiot seems certain to leave the Parc des Princes, and Meunier is the only player mentioned by AS getting serious minutes under Thomas Tuchel.

What seems more likely is PSG sell its superfluous pieces and put a focus on developing its young players in Ligue 1 play with Neymar, Mbappe, Cavani, and Marco Verratti focusing their eyes on the Champions League

Zidane: I can count on Bale, Isco at Real Madrid

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Zinedine Zidane says he’s not going to talk about other team’s players, except that he’s also going to talk about them… vaguely.

The recently rehired Real Madrid boss (say that five times fast) was asked about the possibility of his side splashing mega cash to bring Kylian Mbappe and Neymar to the Bernabeu on the heels of this three-manager disappointment of a season.

[ MORE: Analyzing the UCL draw ]

“I’m not going to talk about a player that isn’t mine,” Zidane explained, via Marca.com. “What I can tell you is that those two players have a lot of quality.”

He went on to say that one of those players, and he wouldn’t name names, was young and French and an absolute monster. We’re kidding, but you get the joke.

Zidane named out-of-favor Isco and Marcelo back in his squad, as Real hopes to stop the rot and build for next season because, well, he cannot have any other aims.

Real is 15 points back of Barcelona with neither an El Clasico nor a Madrid Derby on his fixture list. It’s also 10 points clear of fifth place, so qualifying for Europe isn’t a worry, and Real has already been dismissed from the Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League.

Yes, it’s all very, very weird.

Zidane says he’s going to “count on” Isco and Gareth Bale, who haven’t had their usual seasons for Los Blancos, saying specifically of the Welshman:

“I’m not going to speak about Bale’s season up to this point. There are 11 matches left to play and I’m going to count on him. I’m going to repeat myself a lot here, but Gareth is ready to play.”

Neymar criticizes VAR in expletive-laden rant: ‘How can it be handball?’

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For all intents and purposes, Neymar’s competitive season is over. The Brazilian star, who’s been sidelined for the second straight-year at this time with an ankle injury, is clearly and understandably upset about it. Especially with the way things went down in Paris Saint-Germain’s shock bouncing from the UEFA Champions League.

After Manchester United were awarded a penalty kick in second half stoppage time, leading to Marcus Rashford‘s game-winning-goal, Neymar posted an update to his Instagram story, asking how it could be a handball if it hit his back, before releasing an expletive aimed at the referees. Upon closer inspection and slo-motion replay, which Neymar didn’t have, the ball did ricochet off Presnel Kimpembe’s arm.

Speaking with reporters, PSG manager Thomas Tuchel urged reporters to understand it was just something posted in the heat of the moment.

It’s not clear yet when Neymar will be back on the field. He only recently returned to Paris from a trip home to Brazil to celebrate Carnivale in Rio de Janeiro. Neymar has 20 goals in 22 games in all competitions this season for PSG.