A leading football finance expert has said the projected transfer of Neymar to Paris Saint Germain s simply a PR powerplay by the French club's Qatari owners.
The Brazilian superstar flew to Paris yesterday to complete his world-record €220 million (£197 million) transfer yesterday, although Spanish league officials have said they intend to block the deal.
If the deal goes through, it will beat the current record transfer fee, paid by Manchester United for Paul Pogba last summer, by over £100 million.
PSG is owned by Qatar Sports Investments, a state-run wealth fund backed by the Qatari royal family, and Tom Cannon says they are simply looking to burnish their image with this huge deal.
"It's all about projecting PSG and to some extent Qatar with the World Cup," said Cannon, a professor at Liverpool University and advisor to the all-party Parliamentary group on football finance.
"PSG has been on the fringes of success for the last couple of years. The idea and the hope is that Neymar will project them into the same bracket as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United.
"They see him as their leaping-off point, and hope it will give PSG crediblity, and Qatar credibility."