Barcelona will sue Neymar for breach of contract over his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
The lawsuit revolves around an €8.5 million loyalty bonus on his last Barcelona contract. Spanish football expert Graham Hunter and ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden relayed the news:
Graham Hunter @BumperGraham
#Barça suing #Neymar for €8.5m for 'breaching contract' Relates to payment of first 'loyalty' bonus on previous renewal until 2021 #Messy2017-8-22 14:19:45
Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden
Re-reading statement it's actually part of renewal bonus + €8.5m in damages + 10 percent Barça are claiming.2017-8-22 14:50:33
Neymar signed a contract extension with the Catalan giants in October last year before leaving for Paris earlier this month in a €222 million deal.
On Tuesday, Barca issued a statement to their official website:
"FC Barcelona has sent the Spanish Football Federation the labour lawsuit against Neymar Jr they submitted on 11 August at the Labour Tribunal in Barcelona so that they can pass it on to the appropriate authorities in the French Football Federation and FIFA.
"In the lawsuit, the Club demands the player return the already paid sum for his contract renewal as he has not completed his contract; 8.5 million euros in damages; and an additional 10% because of delayed payment. The Club also requests Paris Saint-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself."
The club added it is seeking to "protect its interests" after Neymar's departure so soon after signing a new deal.
Per ESPN.com, Neymar took aim at Barca's directors on Sunday after helping his new side thrash Toulouse 6-2 at the Parc des Princes in Paris:
"I don't have anything to say to the Barcelona board. For me. ... Well, actually I have something to say: That I am disappointed with them.
"I spent four years there and was very happy. I began happy, spent four years happy and left happy. But not with them. For me, they shouldn't be in charge of Barca. Barca deserve much better, and everyone knows this."
Sky Sports' Kaveh Solhekol believed the comments could be in relation to an outstanding loyalty bonus payment:
Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh
Neymar criticising Barcelona board. Says fans deserve better. May have something to do with £23m loyalty bonus board are refusing to pay him2017-8-21 10:11:03
However, as Marsden suggested, it seems they might also have been as a result of the legal action he looks set to face:
Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden
Barça say the first filed lawsuit on August 11, so the likelihood is it was on Neymar's mind when he made those comments on Sunday.2017-8-22 14:42:02
It has not affected him on the pitch, though, or prevented him from enjoying an electric start to his career in the French capital, per the UEFA Champions League's official Twitter account:
Champions League @ChampionsLeague
🇧🇷 Neymar at Paris: Games 2 Goals 3 Assists 3 Most exciting player in the #UCL? https://t.co/UJIGVjOkty2017-8-22 10:36:39
Barca appear to still be reeling after the forward's departure, and despite the phenomenal amount of money they received for him, bringing in a replacement has thus far proved difficult.
With news the club are set to sue their former star, the saga is not yet over and may not be for some time.