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Barcelona Confirm Neymar’s Departure from Club - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Brazilian striker Neymar is leaving Barcelona FC, announced the club on Wednesday, ending weeks of speculation over his fate.

His new destination has not been revealed, but he has recently been heavily linked to a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Earlier on Wednesday, Neymar arrived at the team’s training ground to tell team mates he was moving to Paris, Catalan radio RAC1 reported. The Brazilian left the training area minutes later, it said.

Barcelona tweeted shortly after the radio report that Neymar, who has been with the Spanish club since June 2013, did not train on Wednesday with the permission of the coach.

In another twitter posting restricted to the sports press, the club said he was leaving but gave no further details. That tweet was confirmed to Reuters by a spokeswomen.

A PSG spokesman declined to comment.

Having matured into one of the finest players in the world and finished third in the 2015 Ballon d’Or vote, Neymar signed a new Barcelona contract to 2021 in October in which his buy-out clause was raised to 222 million euros ($263 million).

Neymar signed for Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos for 57.1 million euros, although it was later revealed the cost was closer to 100 million euros.

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 his massive buyout clause.

Such a fee would smash the current record £89.3 million ($111 million, 105.2 million euros) Manchester United paid 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 glamour pre-season fixtures in the United States against Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

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 have 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 over a three-year period.

PSG have already been fined and saw their Champions League squad limited by UEFA for breaches of FFP in 2014.

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat English

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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