Neymar just told Barcelona that he is leaving the club, as his €222 million (£198.5 million) move to Paris Saint-Germain takes another step forward.
Neymar returned to Spain on Tuesday after a trip to China and Dubai. The Brazilian reported to Barcelona’s Ciutat Esportiva training ground on Wednesday morning, but the club confirmed he did not train.
Instead, Neymar used the training ground visit to say farewell to Barcelona superstars like Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, Gerard Piqué, and Andrés Iniesta, Spanish press reported.
Neymar was at the Ciutat Esportiva for just 43 minutes before leaving in his own car, according to Spanish publication AS.
During that time he “got permission” from coach Ernesto Valverde to “seal his future” and told the players he is leaving, according to sports newspaper MARCA.
“Neymar, accompanied by his father and agent, informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club,” Barcelona said in a statement issued on it’s official website.
“The club has informed them the buy-out clause of his existing contract, which as of 1 July totals €222 million, will have to be deposited in its entirety.”
The statement added: “The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions.”
PSG keep tight-lipped
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaïfi refused to discuss the potential Neymar deal when pressed for a comment by Moroccan television station Medi 1 TV on Monday, as per MARCA.
He said: “PSG respect all contracts that exist between other teams and players. I hope to speak about this issue another time.”
However, AS claims that the “next logical step” is for Neymar to travel to Paris so he can sign for PSG. Previous reports indicate that PSG will make the forward the best-paid footballer in the world.