Becoming the world’s most expensive footballer, Neymar is leaving FC Barcelona, transferring to Paris Saint-Germain for 222 million euros (198.75 million pounds).
The figures on Neymar:
- Signed for Barcelona for almost 100 million euros in 2013
- Buy-out clause more than double the biggest transfer fee in soccer history
- Potential six-year PSG deal worth more than 550,000 euros a week
Lionel Messi took to Instagram shortly after Neymar posted a slideshow of pictures of the pair representing Barcelona over the years, with a heartfelt ‘goodbye’ message: “It was an enormous pleasure to have shared all these years with you friend Neymar I wish you luck in this new stage of your life. See you tomorrow.”
Neymar responded, writing: “Thank you brother. I’ll miss you mate!”
Neymar arrived at Barcelona’s training ground on Wednesday to tell team mates he was moving to Paris. He did not train with the permission of the coach, leaving the training area minutes later.
The Brazilian striker signed a new Barcelona contract to 2021 in October in which his buy-out clause was raised to more than double the biggest transfer fee in soccer history.
In an interview published on Wednesday, the president of the national football league, Javier Tebas said the league would not accept payment by PSG to trigger the release clause.
It would be potentially in breach of UEFA Financial Fair Play rules, he told Spanish sports newspaper AS.
But Sky Sports News reported a UEFA source as saying that La Liga did not have the power to block the transfer, which was a matter for the clubs.
Under the fair play rules – which Andrea Traverso, UEFA’s FFP project leader, was last week quoted by Italian newspaper Gazetta dello Sport as saying PSG were currently following – a club’s wage bill must not exceed 70 percent of its revenue.
Neymar is now expected to head to Paris to continue negotiations on a potential six-year deal worth more than 550,000 euros a week. The 25-year-old only arrived back in Spain on Tuesday after trips to China and the Middle East.
Neymar has been active on social media, sharing an excerpt from the New Testament (Philippians 4:11) on Instagram which said “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content…whether living in plenty or in want.”
Neymar signed for Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos for 57.1 million euros, although it was later disclosed the cost was closer to 100 million euros.