Fc Barcelona have confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain must pay the entirety of Neymar’s £198m in full if they are to sign the Brazilian as disputes over loyalty payments to the player and his father look set to turn ugly.
Neymar was allowed to miss training this morning by manager Ernesto Valverde after informing the club of his decision to leave the Nou Camp and pursue a move to Paris, where his representatives are currently waiting for his arrival.
The move is understood to have been drawn out until August because of a loyalty bonus clause which was due to be triggered after 31st July as part of the agreement from the new contract he signed last October.
Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos Snr, was due to earn £23.3m from the contract renewal for helping persuade his son to stay at the Nou Camp, and that commission would have been made null and void had the player moved before 31st July.
But Barcelona have cast doubt on that loyalty bonus now being paid and insisted that the money will be held in notary until the details of the deal is concluded.
In a statement, Barcelona said: “The player 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 has informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of 1 July 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 has 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.
“Shortly we will add the comments of Club spokesman Josep Vives on the subject of Neymar.”
High-level Barcelona sources have told The Independent that there has been a shift in attitude at Catalan club over the past few days, with top officials now fed up with what is seen as little more than greed from the 25-year-old’s entourage.
The Independent also understands that some of his senior Barcelona teammates have been aggravated by the way his exit has panned out, and feel that his departure is now what’s best for the club.
Barcelona have been prepared for the eventual loss of Neymar for the last few weeks and have already started targeting potential replacements in the shape of Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala, a close friend of Lionel Messi’s given that they regularly play online games with each other.
However, the main target, as revealed by The Independent on Tuesday, is Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele. The 20-year-old France international has been regularly monitored by the Catalans and they believe that they can sign him for around £70m, much less than it will cost to sign Dybala given his importance in securing Juventus the Serie A title last season as well as guiding the side to the Champions League final.
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