By Andrew Downie
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Paris St Germain forward Neymar has agreed to pay a fine to Brazil’s tax authorities in a bid to put his legal problems behind him, his lawyers said on Friday.
The lawyers said they expect to pay an 8 million real ($2.52 million) fine to end the long-running dispute.
Brazil’s tax office, however, said they had not yet arrived at a final total.
The office originally sought 188.8 million reais ($59.44 million) in fines, back taxes and interest, although that figure is thought to have fallen considerably.
“Although he doesn’t agree with the value (of 8 million) the process has dragged on for more than three years and the intention is to end it and move on to this new phase for Neymar,” said Marcos Neder, one of the player’s lawyers.
The decision to cough up and move on comes just a week after Neymar left Barcelona to join PSG for a world record fee of 222 million Euros ($261 million).
The 25-year old has been beset with accusations he bilked tax authorities in both Spain and Brazil.
“The accusations (against us) were at times hasty, at other times they went against us, but it left a mark on his image and as you know Neymar lives off his image,” said lawyer Gustavo Xisto.
“We need to be cautious about it. I think that is the lesson we have learnt.”
(Additional reporting by Tatiana Ramil; editing by Andrew Roche)