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PSG's £198million Neymar deal will leave the football world stunned


By Robert Jones

Neymar will be unveiled as a PSG player later this week as his world record £198million transfer from Barcelona is forced through by the French club, the player's agent has revealed.

The Brazilian is expected to land in Paris today after a stopover in London where he is believed to have been studying the terms offered to him by the Ligue 1 giants.

Neymar's agent Wagner Ribeiro said he was confident the deal would go through imminently.

"PSG will pay the (£198million) release clause of Neymar," Ribeiro confirmed. "The presentation of the player will take place at the end of the week."

It's thought Neymar will be presented at the Parc des Princes before PSG's Ligue 1 opener against Amiens on Saturday.

It had previously been thought the club would try to emulate the grand unveiling of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2012 when the Sweden international was paraded in front of the Eiffel Tower.

However, owing to security concerns and the ongoing state of emergency in France, these plans have now been abandoned.

Despite a more understated unveiling, the transfer is still one that will send shockwaves through the football world.

Neymar is reported to have agreed a bumper five-year contract worth £515,000-a-week after tax in a deal that will cost PSG around £450m.

The proposed move to Paris St Germain could signal a pinnacle in transfer spending, according to a leading football finance expert.

A future plateau in the price of television deals and a ceiling on pay-per-view fees means the deal could stand alone for some time to come, says Rob Wilson of Sheffield Hallam University.

"I genuinely see this as a big outlier and I don't think you will see many of these deals done in the next 50 years, let alone the next two or three," said Wilson.

"You will always get superstar players commanding big transfer fees and wages but there is a ceiling because TV deals are unlikely to increase much more if at all."

Questions have been raised over the lack of a serious attempt by a Premier League club to enter the race for Neymar, but Wilson believes it is indicative of a changing philosophy among owners in the richest league in the world.

"Clubs in the Premier League are a little bit more financially responsible than they once were. Spending £200m plus agents' fees on one player doesn't generate financial sense," added Wilson.

"Manchester City invested fairly heavily initially, but what we've seen this year is them investing in a number of different players.

"Their intention is to become very self-sustainable."

Wilson believes there could be another reason for PSG's emergence as the only club willing to fork out for Neymar, given the current political strife involving Qatar and the majority of its Arab neighbours, and added: "Politically, Qatar is making some moves.

"They've got a World Cup coming up and this is a clear statement of intent for a whole variety of different reasons."

Belfast Telegraph


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