Neymar Says Goodbye to Barcelona Team-Mates Ahead of Expected PSG Transfer

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2017

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JULY 29:  Neymar #11 of Barcelona reacts in the second half against Real Madrid during their International Champions Cup 2017 match at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Barcelona forward Neymar reportedly told his team-mates on Wednesday that he will move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, with the La Liga side confirming he wants to leave the club.

The Blaugrana posted a bulletin on their official website revealing the Brazilian has advised them he wants to depart:

"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."

Barca earlier released a statement on Twitter on Wednesday confirming Neymar had sat out training:

FC Barcelona 🏆🏆 @FCBarcelona

Neymar Jr hasn't trained on Wednesday with the permission of the coach #FCBlive

Sky Sports' Guillem Balague added the Brazilian cut short his participation in a training and said farewell to his team-mates:

Guillem Balague @GuillemBalague

Neymar didn't train today + told team mates he's off to PSG. Key players were fed up with situation and wanted him to say it to the group. https://t.co/MDlavOeiSd

As relayed by Get French Football News, Florent Torchut of France Football also reported Neymar was in and out of Barca's training complex pretty quickly:

Get French Football @GFFN

Neymar was at Barcelona's training ground for 37 minutes this morning; he has already left, according to France Football's @FlorentTorchut. https://t.co/PrnQimM71j

Football Espana added that "various reports" said the forward "left Barcelona training immediately."

As reported by Julien Laurens of the Guardian, PSG are said to be confident of wrapping up a world-record £197 million transfer for the Brazilian, with plans in motion for a grand unveiling in the French capital.

Bleacher Report UK reacted to the news that Neymar appears to be on his way to the French capital:

B/R Football @brfootball

How times change. https://t.co/ZLMQe2nxIv

Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports News outlined some possible hurdles for PSG to overcome before this one is finalised:

Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh

1/2 PSG going to La Liga offices this afternoon. La Liga say they will NOT accept €220m payment to trigger Neymar release clause

Kaveh Solhekol @SkyKaveh

2/2 La Liga: "We will not accept the money for the clause. We have doubts this money is in accordance with UEFA Financial Fair Play rules."

According to Sport, Neymar said goodbye to each member of the Barca squad before he left training on Wednesday. "Less than half an hour was all it took for a cold goodbye as he left through the back door after weeks of silence," the piece continued.

It's a transfer that'll shock the sporting world in numerous ways. First, the fee PSG are set to pay for the 25-year-old will smash the world transfer record; that stands at the £89 million Manchester United paid to sign Paul Pogba in the summer of 2016.

In addition, the deal represents an enormous statement for PSG, who will feel as though they have propelled themselves into the football elite with the deal.

Neymar did not train on Wednesday.
Neymar did not train on Wednesday.JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

While the club have made some impressive signings in recent years, they are poised to make one of the most significant acquisitions in the history of football in Neymar.

As noted by Squawka Football, the forward has already accomplished so much in a career that should contain many more successes yet:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Neymar's goalscoring record for club & country: 136 for Santos ⚽️ 105 for Barcelona ⚽️ 52 for Brazil ⚽️ 293 goals at 25 years old. 🔥 https://t.co/cHNqmjKlWe

For Barcelona, the departure is also a massive disappointment. Despite having Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the club and the fact Neymar signed a new long-term deal last season, it would appear they've been unable to keep their No. 11 on their books.

Should the formalities of a transfer to PSG be completed, the Blaugrana hierarchy and manager Ernesto Valverde have a challenging job replacing him.

As noted by ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan, the team don't have much strength in depth in the attacking portion of the pitch:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

At least there is some good news for Barca this morning, Andre Gomes and Deulofeu back at training...

It means Barcelona will have to reinvest heavily into the side. Liverpool midfielder Philippe Coutinho has been linked, although the Reds are not willing to sell, according to James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo; manager Jurgen Klopp also advised Barcelona to "save their energy" instead of chasing Coutinho, per ESPN FC

According to Miguel Delaney of The Independent, the Blaugrana will look at Juventus forward Paulo Dybala and Borussia Dortmund starlet Ousmane Dembele to fill the void left by Neymar. However, it's tough to see any of the names aforementioned making a contribution akin to the PSG-bound Brazilian.