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Barcelona reportedly is dragging its feet on Neymar’s transfer papers

Neymar, stuck in a PSG luxury suite. (Christophe Petit/EPA)
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Neymar would like to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut on Saturday at Guingamp. The Brazilian star, acquired last week via record-shattering transfer fee from Spanish behemoth Barcelona, had hoped to start playing for PSG on Saturday in the team’s Ligue 1 season opener, but the team was unable to get his transfer paperwork filed on time.

And now it seems as if his former team is going to drag that process out as long as possible with even more paperwork holdups, possibly delaying his PSG debut even further.

The global politics of the biggest story in soccer

As explained by L’Equipe, the French soccer federation has yet to receive Neymar’s International Transfer Certificate from its Spanish counterpart, with a source saying that Barcelona has not yet given Spain’s soccer federation permission to send it. Under FIFA rules, Barcelona has 15 days from the initial request to send over the papers, L’Equipe says.

If Barcelona takes the full 15 days, Neymar would not make his debut until Aug. 20 against Toulouse.

Barcelona has criticized PSG’s signing of Neymar by virtue of a record-breaking $263 million transfer fee, accusing the French club of skirting European soccer’s Financial Fair Play rules. Team officials said they would file a complaint against PSG with UEFA and with the European Union, and on Monday, team President Josep Bartomeu slammed the player himself.

“His way of doing things was not the best, it was not the behavior we expect of one of our players,” Bartomeu said at the team’s annual supporters’ congress. “We were always clear and we would have liked a bit more clarity from him. Values are very important to us and players need to feel like they are at the best club in the world.”

As for Neymar, he was spotted Monday biding his time on a yacht in Saint-Tropez.

[H/t: Sports Illustrated.]

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