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Neymar's future at Barcelona could hinge on resolution of tax affairs

Neymar Sr. says his son will not sign a new Barcelona contract until tax "concerns" are straightened out with the Spanish authorities.

Tax inspectors in Brazil are also currently investigating Neymar's finances, amid claims tax havens were used to avoid payments to the government in his homeland.

Meanwhile, the player, his father and senior Barca figures are still to appear in court to explain his controversial move from Santos to the Catalan club in summer 2013 -- amid suggestions that deal was structured in such a way to avoid paying the required taxes.

The situation has reportedly encouraged other clubs, including Manchester United, who would be interested in tempting the 23-year-old away from the Camp Nou.

Neymar Sr. told Radio Barcelona show "Què t'hi jugues!"  that talks with Barca over extending the player's current contract which ends in 2018 had begun, but nothing would be signed until there is clarity over the tax situation.

"We are talking about renewing but there are things outstanding still to resolve, which have us a bit worried," Neymar Sr. said. "There cannot be these tax concerns from not knowing if we are doing things correctly.

"We must know if Spain accepts our situation. It is hard for us because we are receiving many attacks, from Brazil and from Spain, in tax matters."

Neymar has been the star performer for Barcelona this season.

Neymar Sr. added he hoped his son formed part of an all-Barca trio on the Ballon d'Or 2015 final shortlist.

"I hope [Leo] Messi, Neymar and [Luis] Suarez are on the Ballon d'Or podium," he said. "We would be very happy if Neymar is with them. But that is not the big objective. He plays to win trophies with Barca.

"To be at the Ballon d'Or grows the ego of the big players, but when you win collective trophies, you end up winning individual awards."

With Messi injured over the last two months, Neymar has led Barca back into form, scoring 10 times in 10 games while also dropping deep to take on a more playmaking role in the team.

"It is important that Neymar tries to help the team now that Messi is not there, but his loss is very big," Neymar Sr. said. "We need Messi because today he is the world's best player.

"But Neymar, Suarez and also [Andres] Iniesta are doing everything possible to keep Barcelona in front. We hope that Messi is back to play the Clasico [on Saturday]."

The Barca No. 11's second goal in the 3-0 La Liga win over Villarreal before the international break, when he flipped the ball over his marker before volleying into the net, has reminded some observers of Brazil legend Pele's famous strike against Sweden at the 1958 World Cup. His father did not play down the comparison.

"Neymar always thinks of new things to be able to overcome his opponent," he said. "The Villarreal goal is among the best of his career. I hope there are more. Neymar's goal is more modern than the one which Pele scored."

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