MADRID (Reuters) – Neymar Jr is leaving FC Barcelona, the Catalan club confirmed on Wednesday, as a radio report said the Brazilian striker – whose buy-out transfer value is 222 million euros ($263 million) – was moving to French team Paris Saint-Germain.
He arrived at Barcelona’s training ground on Wednesday to tell team mates he was moving to Paris, Catalan radio RAC1 reported. The Brazilian striker left the training area minutes later, it said.
Neymar 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.
His move to PSG has been heavily flagged in European media but has yet to be completed.
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 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.
Uefa did not immediately reply to a Reuters inquiry on the matter.
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 per cent of its revenue.
550,000 Euros a Week?
Barcelona tweeted shortly after the radio report that Neymar did not train on Wednesday with the permission of the coach.
In another twitter posting restricted to the sports press, the club said he was leaving but gave no further details. That tweet was confirmed to Reuters by a spokeswomen.
Media sources across Europe reported that Neymar will now 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.”
A PSG spokesman declined to comment.
Neymar signed for Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos for 57.1 million euros, although it was later revealed the cost was closer to 100 million euros.
($1 = 0.8432 euros)
Reporting by Blanca Rodriguez; Writing by Paul Day; Editing by Tomas Cobos and John Stonestreet