Barcelona officials head to Paris for Neymar talks

Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian forward Neymar attends a training session. (AFP)
Updated 13 August 2019

Barcelona officials head to Paris for Neymar talks

  • Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before”

MADRID: Barcelona officials headed to France on Tuesday for talks with Paris Saint-Germain to seal a return to the Spanish club for Brazilian star Neymar.

The club’s director for football, retired French international Eric Abidal, and two other top club officials few to Paris to meet with their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts, Catalan radio Rac1 and Catalan television TV3 reported.

“The breakthrough is significant as PSG had up until now refused to meet with Barcelona emissaries but it does not mean that the deal is close,” Rac1 wrote on its website.

The deal which the Barcelona officials will propose could include other players such as Philippe Coutinho or Ivan Rakitic, it added.

Paris Saint-Germain revealed on Saturday that Neymar transfer talks are “more advanced than before” after the Brazilian was dropped from the French champions’ opening Ligue 1 match.

Sporting director Leonardo confirmed to reporters that the Brazilian was near the exit door but that PSG were “not yet ready to give their approval” for the transfer.

Real Madrid or a return to Barcelona are the most likely destinations for the world’s most expensive footballer, who won two La Liga titles and the 2015 Champions League in four years with the Catalan side.

Sports newspaper AS has reported that Neymar has been offered to Madrid by PSG, who are open to selling if they can either recoup the €222 million ($249 million) they spent on him in 2017 or receive half that amount with players included in the deal.

But Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo says that he would prefer a move back to Catalonia to play alongside former teammates Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.


Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

Updated 22 September 2020

Luis Suarez suspected of cheating on Italian exam

  • The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus
  • Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport

ROME: Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is suspected of cheating to pass his Italian language test with the help of his teachers, the Perugia prosecutor’s department in charge of the investigation said on Tuesday.
The Italian exam was a first step required in order to receive a passport ahead of a possible transfer to Juventus.
“The investigation showed that the subjects discussed during the exam were agreed beforehand with the candidate and that the grade was awarded to him even before the test,” the prosecutor’s department said in a statement.
Local prosecutor Raffaele Cantone, a former head of Italy’s National Anti-Corruption Authority, had been carrying out an investigation since February into University for Foreigners officials over various irregularities. Suspicions over Suarez were aroused by an overheard conversation.
“But what do you think, that we’re going to fail him? Today I have the last lesson (with Suarez) and I have to prepare it because he barely speaks a word” of Italian, Stefania Spina, one of the people targeted by the investigation, is claimed to have said according to prosecution documents cited by Italian media.
Asked by a colleague what level Suarez “should pass” in Italian, Spina reportedly replied: “He should not, he must, he will pass, because with a salary of 10 million (euros) per season, you can’t make him fail” his exam, “even if he doesn’t know how to conjugate verbs and speak in the infinitive.”
Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said last week a proposed deal for Suarez was unlikely to go ahead because of delays in the Uruguayan’s bid to get an Italian passport.
The Italian champions cannot recruit Suarez otherwise because they have already reached their quota for non-EU players.