The father of Barcelona forward Neymar says his son’s future at the club is dependent upon the resolution of an outstanding tax case with the Spanish authorities.
Tax inspectors in Brazil are also currently investigating Neymar’s finances, amid claims tax havens were used to bypass payments to the government.
Meanwhile, the player, his father, who acts as his agent, and senior Barca figures are set to appear in court to explain his controversial move from Santos in summer 2013. There have been suggestions that the deal was agreed in such a way to avoid paying taxes.
Neymar Sr. told Radio Barcelona show “Què t’hi jugues!” that nothing would be signed until the tax situation has been settled.
“We are talking about renewing but there are things outstanding still to resolve, which have us a bit worried,” Neymar Sr. said. “There cannot be these tax concerns from not knowing if we are doing things correctly.
“We must know if Spain accepts our situation. It is hard for us because we are receiving many attacks, from Brazil and from Spain, in tax matters.”
Neymar Sr. added he hoped his son formed part of an all-Barca trio on the Ballon d’Or 2015 final shortlist.
“I hope [Leo] Messi, Neymar and [Luis] Suarez are on the Ballon d’Or podium,” he said. “We would be very happy if Neymar is with them. But that is not the big objective. He plays to win trophies with Barca.
“To be at the Ballon d’Or grows the ego of the big players, but when you win collective trophies, you end up winning individual awards.”
With Messi missing through injury over the last two months, Neymar has assumed greater responsibility up front for Barcelona, scoring 10 times in 10 games.
“It is important that Neymar tries to help the team now that Messi is not there, but his loss is very big,” Neymar Sr. said. “We need Messi because today he is the world’s best player.
“But Neymar, Suarez and also [Andres] Iniesta are doing everything possible to keep Barcelona in front. We hope that Messi is back to play the Clasico [on Saturday].”
Neymar’s second goal in the recent 3-0 La Liga win over Villarreal has been compared to Pele’s goal against Sweden in the 1958 World Cup Cup final.
“Neymar always thinks of new things to be able to overcome his opponent,” he said. “The Villarreal goal is among the best of his career. I hope there are more. Neymar’s goal is more modern than the one which Pele scored.”