FC Barcelona star forward Neymar could leave the team after his contract expires in 2018 due to issues with Spanish and Brazilian tax authorities, according to The Guardian.
The club and Neymar have been discussing a contract extension, but Neymar’s father has said that his son may have to walk away from the team in 2018 if Spanish authorities continue to press the two over tax evasion claims.
“We’ve begun contract renewal talks, but there are outstanding issues that concern us, and which need to be resolved,” Neymar Sr. said to Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. “Since we arrived to Spain we have been under attack (from the tax office) and it has extended to Brazil.
“I don’t want to use the word persecution, but if the working environment here is not good, we won’t be able to remain in Spain and will have to leave the country.”
In September, the Sao Paulo federal court alleged that Neymar evaded paying taxes on 63.3 million reals ($16.7 million) between 2011 and 2013. As a result, it froze 188.8 million reals ($49.8 million) in assets from his family and related businesses.
A Spanish court has also investigated Neymar’s transfer to Barcelona from his original club in Brazil, alleging that the club spent at least $27.9 million more on the transfer than it declared, allowing it to pay less in taxes.
Neymar scored 43 goals across all competitions with the club last season.
Barcelona currently sits atop the La Liga standings with 27 points.