Apparently police search over Neymar deal

A search was apparently carried out at the Paris Saint-Germain office on suspicion of tax fraud. The background is Neymar’s commitment.

In the affair surrounding possible tax breaks for Neymar’s record move to the capital club Paris Saint-Germain, investigators searched the PSG office in mid-February, according to information from the newspaper “Le Monde”. This was confirmed by judicial circles, the newspaper reported on Thursday.

The investigation into possible influence peddling, which has been ongoing since 2022, revolves around the question of whether the French government granted tax advantages for the 222 million euro transfer from Neymar to Paris in 2017. In mid-January, the investigators had already arrived at the Ministry of Economics and Finance, as the investigative portal “Mediapart” reported.

High-ranking politicians involved

The suspicion is that the former PSG communications director Jean-Martial Ribes laid a line to the Ministry of Finance after the Neymar deal in order to avert tax payments in a feared amount of 67 to 224 million euros, Mediapart had reported. Three days later it was said that neither taxes nor social security contributions would be due.

What’s piquant: The budget minister responsible at the time was today’s Interior Minister Gérard Darmanin, a heavyweight in President Emmanuel Macron’s government. Darmanin’s cabinet director, Jérôme Fournel, who was directly involved according to the media reports, is now head of the cabinet of Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Several investigations against club presidents

The club fully supports all parties in this case, a PSG spokesman told the newspaper “Le Monde”. “We have confidence in the French legal system and are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this case.” Neymar moved from PSG to Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia last summer.

In addition to the Neymar move, there are several investigations underway that focus on club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi. Among other things, it concerns the alleged months-long imprisonment of a Franco-Algerian businessman in Qatar who claims to have had sensitive documents relating to Al-Khelaifi.