Neymar deal closer as Qatar Airways reopen Barca negotiations

The airline are now willing to listen to the Catalans' latest proposal over a new shirt sponsorship deal and talks are already underway with representatives in the oil-rich state


Barcelona have moved a significant step closer to the renewal of Neymar, Goal can reveal, after negotiations over a new shirt sponsorship deal for the Catalan club were reopened by Qatar Airways.

A Barca delegation led by vice-president Manel Arroyo and commercial director Francesc Calvo flew out to Doha on Wednesday and met with airline officials to reopen talks over a shirt sponshorship agreement for next season after initial negotiations ended in a stalemate back in October.

Just this week, Bayern Munich agreed a sponsorship deal with Doha airport and some speculated that could end Barca's chances of a renewal with Qatar Airways.

But QA Group CEO Akbar Al Baker told Goal: "The negotiations with Bayern were with the airport and with Barcelona it’s with the airline."

"And we are still evaluating all of our sponsorships. We still have time, until June. There are several months to go."

With the two parties now expected to reach an accord to extend their current deal into the 2016-17 season, Barcelona will be in a position to hand Neymar the new contract he has been promised.

The club's current outlay in wages means they have been unable to fund the improved contract for the Brazilian without infringing FIFA Financial Fair Play regulations.

Ahead of the Assembly of socios on October 25, Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu travelled out to the Persian Gulf in order to rubber-stamp a new agreement with Qatar Airways, but the Catalans' club chief asked for more money after the team's treble triumph and negotiations hit a road block.

Now, though, a new deal appears imminent and Barca should soon have the funds available to hand Neymar a contract worth around €20m per year, ending speculation over a possible exit for the 23-year-old in the foreseeable future.