Barcelona Confirm Neymar's Desire to Leave Amid PSG Talk, Demand €222M Fee

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2017

TOPSHOT - Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar drives into the parkinglot to takes part in a training session at the Sports Center FC Barcelona Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona on August 2, 2017 following rumour that Neymar is considering a move to French club PSG for which the club would have to shell out some 222 million euros, enough to trigger the 25-year-old's transfer release clause. / AFP PHOTO / Josep LAGO        (Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)
JOSEP LAGO/Getty Images

Neymar has advised Barcelona that he wishes to leave the club, although the Blaugrana have made it clear he will not depart for any amount less than his €222 million release clause.

The Blaugrana confirmed on Wednesday on Twitter that Neymar was excused from training, with reports swirling that he was close to completing a move to Paris Saint-Germain, per Julien Laurens of the Guardian

Barcelona then released the following statement on their website, noting Neymar has made his intentions clear to move:

"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 July 1 totals €222 million which will have to be deposited in its entirety.

"Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the Club has once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved.

"The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions." 

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JULY 29: Neymar of FC Barcelona during the International Champions Cup 2017 match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at Hard Rock Stadium on July 29, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Momentum appears to have gathered quickly over Neymar's proposed move to Paris. It's been suggested by the player's agent Wagner Ribeiro to Cadena COPE (h/t Get French Football News) that PSG will move quickly to get this one boxed off:

According to Sport, the Brazilian arrived at training on Wednesday to say individual farewells to all members of the Barcelona squad.

According to Sky Sports' Guillem Balague, "key players were fed up with situation and wanted him to say it [goodbye] to the group."

As noted by the Guardian's Sid Lowe, it appears Barcelona have been waiting until the end of their pre-season tour before addressing the Neymar issue head-on:

It means, provided PSG do go on to match the buyout amount in Neymar's contract, that the Brazilian will become the most expensive player in history. His trigger fee is more than double the amount Manchester United paid—£89 million—to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus last summer.

The Parisians will land a wonderful footballer nonetheless. Neymar has scored goals and made goals consistently throughout his Barca career, as well as turning in some massive displays in big games.

Neymar enjoyed plenty of success at Barcelona.
Neymar enjoyed plenty of success at Barcelona.Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But what makes Neymar so special is the way he plays. There's an X-factor to his football that few other players in the world can conjure; he quickens pulses and draws gasps with some of his footwork and ingenuity.

With that in mind, journalist Simon Harrison believes that Neymar may well be worth the massive transfer fee PSG are set to shell out:

The imminent departure will heap pressure on Barcelona to make a massive signing before the window shuts. There's no natural replacement for Neymar in the squad and no talents pushing for a spot in the senior side from La Masia, while their great rivals Real Madrid are the dominant force in world football.

And as remarkable as it may sound, in the modern-day transfer market, €222 million may not be enough to fill the void left by the Brazilian and bolster their squad elsewhere.

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