The last hurdle in Neymar’s move to Paris Saint-Germain has been cleared. FC Barcelona has announced that Neymar and his attorneys paid the player’s €222 million release clause themselves on Thursday and that Neymar is no longer a Barcelona player. He is now free to join anyone he pleases, and an announcement that he’s chosen to sign for PSG is likely to follow.
Here’s Barca’s statement on the buyout:
“On Thursday afternoon, Neymar Jr's legal representatives visited in person the Club's offices and made the payment of 222 million euros in the player's name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties.”
But there’s another sentence in the statement — one about the potential financial irregularities that Barca and La Liga are so concerned about:
“As such, the Club will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case.”
On Thursday morning, PSG attempted to pay Neymar’s buyout clause but was turned away at La Liga’s offices. Neymar’s representatives then went to Barca’s offices to make the payment themselves. Where Neymar got the money and whether or not he went about this improperly remains to be seen. Barcelona thinks something is fishy, and they’d like UEFA to look into it.
Clearly, La Liga and Barcelona are extremely bitter about one of world football’s biggest stars leaving Spain, especially for a fee that everyone assumed could never be paid under UEFA’s financial fair play rules. But while €222 million sounds like a truly outrageous sum to pay for a player, there are plenty of mechanisms that PSG can use to make the deal comply with FFP.