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Friends and Relations Behind PSG Bid For Neymar

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Former Manchester City target, Dani Alves, has been cited as one of the big influences to lure Neymar out of FC Barcelona to join him at Paris Saint-Germain.
Both Brazilian players are reportedly very close. Sports Village Square gathered from Business Insider that Alves called his former FC Barcelona team-mate Neymar regarding a €222 million (£196.5 million) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.
Another close friend of Neymar simply identified as Maxwell was also reported to have called the Barcelona forward to put pressure on him on the need to make the move this summer. Neymar’s contract with FC Barcelona has a $254.7 million (£196.5 million) release clause.
According to ESPN’s resident French football expert, Julian Laurens, the chairman of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, has also been in “close contact” with Neymar’s father for two years.
“Maxwell, Alves and Neymar are all very good friends and I think Maxwell and Alves have been on the phone to Neymar,” remarked Laurens.
“PSG has never stopped contacting Neymar and his dad. PSG chairman and Neymar’s dad have been very close since last summer and the summer before that.”
Neymar plays for La Liga giant Barcelona, but the Brazilian forward has a huge £196.5 million “release clause” in his contract. This means that if a club like PSG wanted to buy Neymar, it could force Barcelona’s hand by meeting the release clause. However, there are no guarantees as it would then have to negotiate personal terms with the player.
Manchester United last broke the transfer fee record when it spent £89.6 million on Paul Pogba last year. Barça probably thought a £196.5 million fee would be too costly for any European club to meet. However, reports in Brazil said Neymar had accepted a proposal from PSG, and that the transfer would be announced in two weeks.
Laurens doubts the reports. “Nothing has been accepted yet. You can’t agree a deal for Barcelona and Neymar in the space of 48 hours — we’re talking about the biggest transfer of all time with a salary around €20 million [per year].”
Meeting the release clause and negotiating a five-year contract for Neymar could set PSG back €322 million (£285 million).
Because we’re talking about such a huge sum, Laurens believes the reports may have jumped the gun.
But PSG and Barcelona may still do business this summer. “Serious discussions and negotiations will start very soon,” Laurens says. “[In the past] Neymar has flirted with PSG but PSG felt used as Neymar and his father ended up negotiating a new deal for Barcelona.”
The relationship between Al-Khelaïfi and Neymar’s father could be key. Spanish publication, AS, wrote on Monday that “Neymar’s father will travel to Paris to meet Al-Khelaïfi.”
This is what Laurens may mean when he says “the door [for PSG] is opening.” He also says “money is no object.”
“If Neymar is ready to come to Paris then it will do everything to make it happen.”
“I can understand why he’d want to leave Barcelona. Messi has just renewed his contract so that means Neymar will play second fiddle for another three or four years and that’s not what he wants… he wants to be a superstar.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Racially Abused Senegalese Goalkeeper Speaks Out After Abandoned Spanish Match –

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Racially Abused Senegalese Goalkeeper Speaks Out After Abandoned Spanish Match -

Senegalese goalkeeper Cheikh Sarr has heard racial slurs directed at him from the stands before, but when a fan allegedly approached just to racially insult him during a Spanish third-tier league game last Saturday, he decided he’d had enough.

“I grabbed him and asked why he was insulting me. My attitude was not aggressive, I just wanted to ask him why,” the 23-year-old told reporters on Tuesday of the incident in Sestao, a working-class town in northern Spain, which led to the game being abandoned.

“Other times it could be seen as something playful or a joke. However, this was not the case on Saturday, as it was something horrible and I could not stop myself. It was a very sad and ugly thing what they were saying,” he added.

The match between Sarr’s Rayo Majadahonda and Sestao River Club was suspended in the 84th minute after the altercation first led to Sarr being expelled by the referee, who was too far to hear the alleged insults, and then his team mates leaving the pitch in protest.

Racism in sport has been a hot topic in Spain, especially after Real Madrid’s Brazil winger Vinicius Jr, who has suffered from several incidents of racist abuse and is part of a campaign against racism, last year called LaLiga and Spain racist.

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On Saturday, he spoke out in support of those affected on social media again, citing “three despicable cases of racism” on that day alone, including Sarr’s.

Sevilla’s Argentina defender Marcos Acuna and coaching staff were also the target of “racist and xenophobic insults” from fans in a LaLiga game at Getafe, the club said.

Sarr said he was thankful that Vinicius had tagged him on social media showing support.

“If more players said no to racism like he does, they (racists) wouldn’t have the power they have now,” he said.

Reuters

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Sex-convict, Alves Spends First Day Of Provisional Freedom With All-night Party –

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Former Barcelona star, Brazilian Dani Alves, who was provisionally released from prison after over a year in prison celebrated his temporary reprieve with an all-night party.

Although his release from prison was temporary, after he was convicted and faces a 4-and-a-half-year prison sentence, Italian newspaper,  Corriere dello Sport reported that the Brazilian organized a noisy party to celebrate his father’s birthday.

The newspaper indicated that Alves held this party last Tuesday, and continued until five in the morning in the presence of family and friends, to celebrate his father on the one hand, and also to enjoy his freedom on the other hand after spending a long period behind bars.

The camera of the Spanish “Telefónico” network was following the steps of the legend of the oldest Brazilian player to participate in the World Cup, until he arrived at his home, located 25 minutes from downtown Barcelona.

The first thing Alves did after arriving at his home was to order a large amount of “burgers” for dinner, the first meal that the former right-back ate after his release from the “Brian 2” prison in Barcelona.

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According to several Spanish media outlets, Alves distributed his belongings  such as clothes and a small fan to the prisoners who had been by his side for more than 430 days,

Alves, 40, was accused of raping a woman in a nightclub, and was sentenced to 4 and a half years in prison last February, before a decision was issued for his conditional release

 

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Dani Alves, Convicted Over Rape, Leaves Spanish Prison –

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Dani Alves, Convicted Over Rape, Leaves Spanish Prison -

Brazilian soccer player Dani Alves was released from a Barcelona prison on Monday after posting bail of 1 million euro ($1.09 million) bail over his conviction for the rape of a woman in a nightclub’s restroom in 2022.

Last Wednesday, a local court ruled that Alves could be conditionally freed on bail while he appeals his rape conviction. He has served about a quarter of his four-and-a-half-year prison sentence.

Flanked by his lawyer, Alves left the Brians 2 prison northwest of Barcelona at 4.25 p.m. (1525 GMT) wearing a gray jacket over a white turtleneck, a Reuters videographer said.

He did not address reporters at the entrance of the prison before climbing into a white vehicle.

The case of Alves, one of the most successful soccer players in history, has attracted significant attention not only due to the Brazilian’s profile but because gender-based violence has become an increasingly dominant topic in Spain’s public discourse.

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Alves’ attorney surrendered both his Brazilian and Spanish passports to comply with the conditions of his release. He cannot leave Spain and must appear before the court every Friday or whenever summoned.

The court also imposed a restraining order barring him from coming within 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) of the victim.

The former Barcelona, Juventus and PSG defender had been held at Brians 2 since January 2023. He was convicted on Feb. 22 of raping the woman in a Barcelona nightclub’s restroom and ordered to pay her 150,000 euros. He has appealed against the conviction, which was not final.

Prison staff at Brians 2 took advantage of the high media interest to protest outside the jail over what they described as insufficient security conditions and urged regional officials to resign.

Corrections officers in Catalonia have been protesting since last week, after a kitchen employee at a different prison was stabbed to death by an inmate.

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-Reuters

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