Neymar transfer: PSG and Barcelona confirm £198m deal
The Brazilian has joined the French club for more than double the previous world record transfer fee
Neymar is officially a Paris Saint-Germain player after Barcelona accepted a payment of £198m (€222m) thereby activating the Brazilian star's buyout clause.
In a statement the Spanish club said: "On Thursday afternoon, Neymar Jr's legal representatives visited in person the club's offices and made the payment of €222m in the player's name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties."
PSG's reaction to the news was to post upload a series of messages on social media celebrating their coup and the man himself - who will the number ten shirt for his new club - then uploaded a message in which he said: "I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want… from today, I will do everything I can to help my new teammates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world."
According to ESPN, the 25-year-old Brazilian arrived in the French capital on Thursday night and today he will put pen to paper in a five-year deal worth €30m annually after tax. The broadcaster claims that Neymar will then be presented to the press and he could make his debut in PSG's Ligue 1 opener at home to Amiens on Saturday.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said of the news: "It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain… he will bring a very positive energy to this club. In six years we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football. Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realising our greatest dreams."
Although Barcelona said in their statement that they "will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case", it's not expected that the transfer will be derailed at this late stage.
Therefore Neymar is now - by some way - the most expensive footballer in history, costing more than twice the £89m that Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba 12 months ago.
Not surprisingly the mantle of the most expensive player in the world means that Neymar will pocket a fair few quid himself, believed to be €865,000 (£782,000) a week before tax.
Neymar heads to PSG - but Barcelona demand money up front
The most talked about footballer - nay, sportsman - in the world was glimpsed at Porto Airport on Wednesday evening as Neymar prepared to complete his move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The 25-year-old Brazilian is also escaping the heat from Barcelona, the club and the city, following the announcement earlier in the day that he had been given permission to leave the Camp Nou.
According to The Sun "several of his team-mates had been fed up with his actions and demanded he tell them the truth about where his future lies". So he did, and what he said what that he is off to the French capital and a salary that BBC Sport claims will earn him £775,477 a week.
Not that PSG fans should rush out and buy their replica Neymar shirts just yet. In a terse statement Barcelona told the French club they must pay his £198m fee "in full" and it's believed that the Spanish club will demand Uefa launch a Financial Fair Play investigation once PSG have signed Neymar.
In addition, earlier in the week La Liga president Javier Tebas threatened PSG with legal action should European football's governing body fail to take action but Sky Sports News says that PSG officials are "very confident" that the transfer will be completed without recourse to the courts.
That's for the future. For the present Neymar is expected to arrive in Paris within the next 24 hours to undergo a medical and complete his world-record transfer.
According to Sky Sports News, a source in Spain close to Neymar told them: "Since he decided to leave, Neymar has had to deal with huge pressure to stay at Barcelona. His teammates wanted him to stay but his decision was made."
The source also explained why Neymar chose to leave Barcelona for a club who regularly fail to make their mark in the Champions League. "People will say this has been driven by money, but he wants to become the leader at the club," said the source. "He wants to be independent, and wants to win the Ballon d'Or. He believes he can do that in Paris."
Neymar to PSG: Barcelona give superstar permission to leave
Neymar's astonishing £198m move to Paris Saint-Germain is a step closer to becoming a reality after Barcelona gave permission for him to leave.
The Brazilian arrived at the club for training this morning, but left half an hour later after apparently telling teammates he wanted to move on.
Barcelona later confirmed that manager Ernesto Valverde had granted permission for him to go, amid reports the club had briefed Spanish journalists that Neymar was free to leave.
Neymar Jr hasn't trained on Wednesday with the permission of the coach #FCBlive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 2, 2017
"It has been claimed that Barca sent a private message to members of the sports media in Spain confirming the 25-year-old is leaving, but have offered no further details," reports the Daily Telegraph.
"A spokesman from the club confirmed to Reuters that a message was sent. A PSG spokesman declined to comment.
"Neymar has a €222m (£198m) release clause at the Nou Camp and has already reportedly agreed personal terms at the Parc des Princes ahead of a move which will more than double the world record transfer fee that United paid for Paul Pogba last year (£89m)."
The deal could be confirmed within a week.
The dramatic twist came after a "shift" at the Camp Nou, claims The Independent, which says the Spanish club's top brass are "fed up with what is seen as little more than greed from the individuals that look after the 25-year-old".
It adds that Barca are frustrated by Neymar's attempts to leave and have also been angered by his "clear attempts to try and wring more money out of the Spanish club".
They are not alone, says the website. "Some of [Neymar's] 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."
Wagner Ribeiro, a key adviser to Neymar, confirmed on Twitter that the player was in Paris on football related business.
Paris maravilhosa , da Torre Eifel, do vinho, da gastronomia e do FUTEBOL. pic.twitter.com/iuWuRM6moW— Wagner Ribeiro (@wagneribeiro_) August 2, 2017
While Ribeiro is not Neymar's official agent, he works for his father's company, N&N Consultancy, says ESPN.
Neymar Sr is a key figure in the move - part of the player's unhappiness with Barcelona relates to a payment of £22m said to be owed to his father and blocked by the Spanish club.