PSG already planning party for Neymar unveiling ahead of transfer - source
TANGIER, Morocco -- Paris Saint-Germain are so confident that they have convinced Barcelona superstar Neymar to join them for a world-record €222 million transfer fee that they have already started to consider how to unveil him as their latest signing, a source has told ESPN FC.
The options being considered are believed to include a public presentation in Paris and a one-off event at the capital club's Parc des Princes home.
The source said PSG have already contacted the Paris police to enquire about the possibility of a public event, the likes of which they have been unable to host since unsavoury scenes that marred Ligue 1 title celebrations in 2013, their first league success in 19 years.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was unveiled in front of the Eiffel Tower when he signed in the summer of 2012, but that was before the incident the next year at the Trocadero.
Since then, PSG have been unable to celebrate new signings and trophy successes -- notably the first domestic clean sweeps in French football history -- with their supporters in public because of fears that the scenes from 2013 will be repeated.
This makes an event at Parc des Princes more likely than a glitzy gathering in the City of Light, and something similar to Angel Di Maria's presentation at Shangri-La Hotel in 2015 is not thought to be sufficient for an event of this magnitude.
However, the source indicated that there is another possibility altogether. That is that PSG's Qatari owners unveil the player in Doha and have him undergo his medical at the ASPETAR facility there instead of in Paris.
A source told ESPN FC last week that the Brazil international and his father have already agreed upon a contract with PSG, and all that was left to do at that point was for the Ligue 1 giants to work out how to activate the player's release clause without incurring the wrath of UEFA's Financial Fair Play watchdog.
According to this source, PSG now believe that they have found a way to activate Neymar's clause that remains within the FFP limits, something that UEFA are sure has already been considered.
Because of that, PSG have decided to offer Neymar a five-year deal with an option for a sixth season. A shorter contract was initially a possibility to lessen the overall financial commitment in the eyes of FFP.
PSG captain Thiago Silva said after the French Super Cup win over Monaco on Saturday that he hopes Neymar's move "gets finalised," while Neymar could still make a statement after El Clasico on Saturday in Miami or after promotional commitments in China have been completed.
Meanwhile, Mundo Deportivo reported on Saturday that Neymar had informed his Barcelona teammates two days earlier that he would be joining PSG.
As already reported, Neymar will be earning around €30 million per year after taxes and will be handed a major signing bonus in excess of his net annual sum.
On top of those earnings and significant bonuses, Neymar and his father are set to profit from a number of other commercial ventures that PSG owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments control in Paris and outside of football.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.