Football

Barca demand full world-record fee up front from PSG for Neymar

Brazilian's adviser says 25-year-old will be presented by French giants 'this week'

Barcelona have given Neymar permission to discuss a move away from the club, but will insist his buy-out clause of 222 million euros (S$356m) is paid in full.

The Brazil forward, heavily linked with a move to Paris St Germain, made a brief visit to Barca's training ground yesterday to inform them of his wish to leave the club, departing before their training session began.

A club statement read: "Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club's offices.

"Faced with this position, the club have informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of July 1 totals 222 million euros, which will have to be deposited in its entirety.

"Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the club have once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved.

"The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions."

The 25-year-old arrived back in Barcelona on Tuesday from a fleeting promotional tour to China. He arrived for training at 9am local time but left less than an hour later after informing his Barcelona teammates that he is leaving the club.

His adviser Wagner Ribeiro told reporters at Barcelona's El Prat airport yesterday that PSG would pay Neymar's buyout clause "in the coming hours" and the player could be presented in Paris "this weekend".

Neymar was joined by his father, Ribeiro and the rest of his entourage as they prepared to fly out of the Catalan capital to an as yet unconfirmed destination.

The former Santos player has a contract with Barca until 2021 but PSG, deposed by Monaco as French champions last term, appear prepared to activate his release clause. That would more than double the existing world-record fee of 105m euros, then worth £89m, that Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.

It was an enormous pleasure to have shared all these years with you, my friend Neymar. I wish you luck in this new stage of your life. I love you. Barcelona star Lionel Messi posts heartfelt Instagram farewell to Neyma

Neymar reportedly met with PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi in Qatar on Tuesday.

Al-Khelaifi gave nothing away during an interview with Moroccan broadcaster Medi 1 TV over the weekend.

In quotes reported by various European news outlets on Tuesday, Al-Khelaifi said: "Right now, Neymar is a Barcelona player and we'll see what happens with him.

"We respect all contracts signed with other clubs and players. To be honest, I'd rather not talk about this matter now. I hope to do it at another time."

In an interview published yesterday, 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 potentially be in breach of Uefa Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules, he told Spanish sports newspaper AS.

However, Uefa told Reuters yesterday that no complaint had been received, adding that European football's governing body would not block any potential deal in advance.

"Uefa will look into the details of this transfer in due course to ensure PSG are compliant with FFP requirements," the Uefa statement said.

"The transfer of Neymar to PSG will have an effect on the club finances over several years, but the impact of such an operation cannot be judged in advance, notably as PSG could well sell several players for a significant amount.

"We shall therefore only make calculations at the end and make sure that they respect the rules." - WIRE SERVICES

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