FC Barcelona refuse to pay Neymar loyalty bonus

Neymar has forfeited a bumper loyalty bonus from FC Barcelona after departing for Paris St Germain in a record-breaking €222million move ahead of schedule.

The 25-year-old Brazil forward has signed a five-year contract with ambitious Ligue 1 club PSG, becoming the most expensive footballer in history after weeks of speculation.

Neymar, for whom PSG had to pay Barca €222m, will reportedly earn €30m net per year, or around €575,000 each week after tax.

However, his father Neymar Santos Sr, who has managed his son’s career since his emergence at Santos, will not collect a €26m loyalty bonus from Barca as its conditions were not met.

Barca spokesman Josep Vives told Marca: “The club will not pay the bonus to Neymar’s father.

“There were three conditions: the player must not negotiate his departure from the club during the month before the bonus became payable, he must demonstrate his desire to fulfil his contract, and that we would not pay out the bonus before September 1, to ensure the transfer window was closed.

“Now that we know that none of these three conditions were met, we will not honour that bonus.”

The most valuable player of all time – succeeding Paul Pogba following the Frenchman’s €105m switch to Manchester United last summer – was unveiled at the Parc des Princes on Friday.

Before showing off his ball-juggling skills on the pitch and greeting fans alongside PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Neymar insisted he had moved to the French capital out of ambition.

Money was not his sole motivation, he claimed, expressing his sadness that certain individuals have accused him of following riches instead of pursuing further honours with Barca.

He said: “I wanted something bigger, a bigger challenge. This was about ambition.

“My heart told me that it was time to sign for Paris St Germain. It was the right time to leave Barcelona.

“I was never motivated by money. I thought above all else about the happiness of my family, regardless of money.

Neymar Jr and Chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi pose with Neymar’s club shirt.

“I’m really sad that some people think this is the case.”

Ligue 1 has said Neymar is not eligible to make his PSG bow in their season-opener against Amiens on Saturday as his international transfer certificate was not filed in time.

The capital club next visit Guingamp before returning to the Parc des Princes to host Toulouse on 20 August, with a capacity crowd expected for the occasion of Neymar’s likely home debut.

While reclaiming the French championship from Monaco is a priority, PSG’s main target is landing the Champions League trophy for the first time. They have yet to progress beyond the quarter-finals.

President Al-Khelaifi is confident that dream can become a reality with Neymar on board.

“For me Neymar is the best player in the world, so we wanted to have the best player in the world,” he told reporters.

“Neymar came here to write new pages in the history of Paris St Germain. With him our project will grow even stronger.”

As PSG make plans for a brighter future, critics of the eye-watering fee paid for Neymar have made clear their dismay over the rocketing prices paid for players.

International players’ association FIFPro has demanded a European Commission investigation into what it calls “anti-competitive, unjustified and illegal” FIFA transfer rules.

Barca have passed details of the deal to UEFA so the governing body might “determine the disciplinary responsibilities” concerning issues of Financial Fair Play and adherence to European transfer rules.

Qatari businessman Al-Khelaifi is sure PSG have done nothing wrong, saying of the €222m outlay: “Today, it might seem expensive. But in two years’ time it might not any more.

“We will make money together in the coming years as it is a two-brand project. For me it’s a fantastic transfer.

“Concerning Financial Fair Play, we have always been transparent.”

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