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Neymar to PSG: Barcelona announces Brazilian star will leave after €222 release clause is met

This is a market-shifting move.

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

The football world got shaken up in a big way on Wednesday, with Barcelona announcing that Neymar would leave the club after his €222 million release clause was met by Paris Saint-Germain. It’s a huge, record deal, leaving Barcelona with a ton of money but without arguably their second-best player — and leaving the transfer market shaking at the weight of this move’s implications.

If the transfer goes through, it will more than double the world record transfer fee. It’s more than Paul Pogba’s €105 million transfer to Manchester last summer and Gareth Bale’s €100 million move to Real Madrid combined. It’s a shockingly big number that no one thought we would see in a transfer fee anytime soon, but PSG decided to trigger Neymar’s release clause rather than negotiate directly with Barcelona.

According to Sky Sports, Neymar will sign a 5-year contract that pays him £515,000 per week after tax, meaning he’ll make more than Lionel Messi.

Many wonder how PSG are going to deal with Financial Fair Play, but they’ve proved before that they have ways to manage it quite impressively. Assuming the deal goes through, they’re going to be a bigger threat in the Champions League now that they’ve developed a more consistent attack, the biggest weakness in their side over the last few years.

The bigger thing, though, is how the transfer market as a whole is going to be impacted by this move. Barcelona have a huge hole to fill in their squad now and a ton of money to do it with — this titanic signing is going to set off a chain reaction of big moves that’s going to impact European football as a whole, and it’s going to be interesting to watch everything shake out over the next month before the transfer window closes.