Ney­mar says adios to Barca

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

BARCELONA — Ney­mar’s po­ten­tial world-record move to Paris Saint-Ger­main moved a step closer on Wed­nes­day as the Brazil­ian in­formed his Barcelona team­mates he is leav­ing the club, a Barca rep­re­sen­ta­tive told AFP.

“The player came to train as sched­uled and an­nounced to his team­mates that he is leav­ing,” said the source.

“The coach has given him per­mis­sion to not train and to man­age re­solv­ing his fu­ture.”

Spec­u­la­tion over the 25-year-old’s fu­ture has dom­i­nated the first few weeks of new Barca boss Ernesto Valverde’s reign with PSG re­port­edly will­ing to pay Ney­mar’s $260 mil­lion buy­out clause.

Such a fee would smash the cur­rent record $111 mil­lion Manch­ester United paid Ju­ven­tus for Paul Pogba last year.

Ney­mar ar­rived back in Barcelona on Tues­day from a fleet­ing pro­mo­tional tour to China af­ter play­ing in all three of Barca’s pre-sea­son matches in the United States against Juve, Manch­ester United and Real Madrid.

He ar­rived for train­ing at 9 am lo­cal time, but left less than an hour later.

Pre­sum­ing both clubs don’t come to a late agree­ment, the buy­out clause would have to be paid to Barcelona via Spain’s La Liga to free the player from the con­tract he signed last year and runs un­til 2021.

How­ever, La Liga pres­i­dent Javier Te­bas has threat­ened not to ac­cept PSG’s money over what he per­ceives as a fail­ure on the French side’s part to com­ply with UEFA’s fi­nan­cial fair play rules (FFP).

“We will not ac­cept this money from a club like PSG,” Te­bas told Madrid sports daily AS on Wed­nes­day. “Es­pe­cially when this club is in­fring­ing rules and laws.”

Barcelona has also threat­ened to re­port PSG to UEFA over any po­ten­tial breach of FFP.

Clubs can be sanc­tioned by UEFA for mak­ing a loss of more than 30 mil­lion eu­ros ($36 mil­lion) over a three­year pe­riod.

Qatari-owned PSG has al­ready been fined and saw its Cham­pi­ons League squad lim­ited by UEFA for breaches of FFP in 2014.

Ney­mar was trav­el­ing back from China and had ear­lier posted a video on so­cial me­dia, ap­par­ently from Dubai air­port, amid spec­u­la­tion he could have been bound for Paris. It was ru­mored the player had his med­i­cal in Dubai.

The Brazil­ian, who was in Shang­hai on Mon­day to ap­pear at a spon­sor’s en­gage­ment, had also posted a photo on In­sta­gram with the cap­tion in Por­tuguese: “Lunch at half­way”.

In an­other video posted from the air, Ney­mar played around with an im­age-mes­sag­ing app that su­per­im­posed a Span­ish flag and a small plane on his T-shirt — sug­gest­ing he was headed back to Barcelona. The decor in that video was iden­ti­fi­able as from an Emi­rates flight.

Nasty sur­prise

Ney­mar, though, had a nasty sur­prise await­ing him upon his re­turn as Barcelona has blocked pay­ment of a $30.5 mil­lion bonus he is due, a source at the club said.

“This pay­ment has been placed with a no­tary pend­ing to see if the player con­tin­ues,” the source, who re­fused to be named, told AFP.

The re­newal bonus was agreed a year ago when Ney­mar ex­tended his con­tract with Barcelona un­til 2021, and was due to be paid to the player af­ter he com­pleted a year.

But the club has de­cided to put it on hold while wait­ing to see how his trans­fer sit­u­a­tion evolves.

The con­tract ex­ten­sion that Ney­mar signed also in­creased an early ter­mi­na­tion clause from $230 mil­lion to $260 mil­lion — a sum that PSG is re­port­edly will­ing to cough up.

$30.5 mil­lion the bonus due to be paid by Barcelona to Ney­mar, which has been blocked amid his po­ten­tial move to PSG

REUTERS

Barcelona’s Ney­mar at­tends a Tokyo me­dia con­fer­ence on July 13.

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