Madrid: The father and representative of Barcelona star Neymar has said he will seek judicial and tax assurances before agreeing to a new contract for his son with the European champions.
The club, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell have all been charged with tax fraud in Spain for the transfer deal that brought Neymar to the club from Santos in 2013. Moreover, a Brazilian court last month froze $47 million (Â£34.5 million, 42 million euros) in assets belonging to the player over tax evasion allegations. "We have three years left on the contract.
We, or my family, are suffering an insecure tax situation that affects the planning of his career," Neymar Sr told Barcelona sports daily Sport. "We need these issues to stop. How can we extend something if we don't have tax stability?" Neymar isn't the only Barca player to be plagued by tax problems as four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi is to face trial over tax fraud over his image rights between 2007 and 2009.
Fellow-Argentine Javier Mascherano is also to go before a judge later this month in a case related to the tax payments on his image rights. "We are seeing various players suffering tax penalties. Why would I anticipate a renewal if I don't have judicial security that will back us to be able to work? I intend to wait and be calm to manage Neymar in the best way possible."
On the field Neymar produced one of best performances in a Barcelona shirt on Saturday as he scored four and assisted Luis Suarez for the Catalans' other goal in a 5-2 win over Rayo Vallecano. And his father insisted Barcelona is the best place for him to keep developing despite admitting that Manchester United had tried to sign the 23-year-old during the summer.
"They phoned Barcelona. They got a response that Neymar had a contract and that they would not sell him. People should be calm, Neymar still has three years on his contract."