PARIS: Brazil superstar Neymar was last night reportedly poised to fly to Qatar to discuss a potential world-record €222m transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 25-year-old Barcelona striker would become the most expensive footballer of all time if the Ligue 1 club sign him for a fee more than double the one Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.
On Monday Qatari newspaper Al-Watan and various European publications claimed Neymar will visit Doha to meet PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi ahead of what would be an historic move.
The stopover on a return flight from a promotional trip to China could also include a medical, reports suggest.
Neymar has a contract with Barca running until 2021 that contains a 222m euro release clause, which ambitious PSG appear prepared to activate.
The unprecedented scale of the deal has sparked rumours that Barca could make a complaint to UEFA over a purported failure to adhere to Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules by the purchasing club.
However, a UEFA spokesman said: “We haven’t received any complaint regarding this matter but irrespective of whether we receive a complaint or not, we would in any case look into the details of such a transfer if it goes ahead to ensure that it respects Financial Fair Play rules.
“PSG must respect Financial Fair Play rules as do all other clubs in Europe. They must demonstrate that they do not have losses of more than 30m euros over three years.
“The impact of a potential transfer of Neymar to PSG would have an effect on the club finances over several years. It is very difficult to judge this type of operation in advance as we do not know the plans of the French club. They could well sell a few players for a similar or even superior amount.
“We shall therefore only make calculations at the end and make sure that they respect the rules.
“We also take this opportunity to underline that losses of European clubs have gone down from 1.7 billion euros in 2011 to less than 300m euros now, clearly showing that Financial Fair Play has a positive impact on the stability and sustainability of European football.
“There is nevertheless always room for improvement and we are looking at various possibilities to further reinforce Financial Fair Play.”
Thiago Silva and Dani Alves, both colleagues of Neymar in the Brazil squad, have both spoken about their countryman’s potential switch to Paris, with the latter urging his friend to “be brave”.
The player who Barca signed from Santos in 2013 was heavily involved in the Catalans’ 3-2 friendly victory over LaLiga arch-rivals Real Madrid in Miami on Saturday night.
After the game Real captain Sergio Ramos said he hoped he had faced Neymar in a Barca shirt for “the last time” whereas newly-installed Nou Camp boss Ernesto Valverde stressed the striker’s importance to his team as he looks to reclaim the Spanish title from Madrid.
Last week Neymar added fuel to the speculation about his long-term future at Barca by storming out of training following an angry confrontation with team-mate Nelson Semedo. Hours later PSG defender Silva said details of a possible transfer might emerge “soon”.
Neymar has scored over 100 goals in all competitions for the Spanish giants.