Keep calm, FC Barcelona fans. Neymar isn’t going to Paris Saint-Germain.
That’s the message Barcelona issued Tuesday after Brazilian broadcaster Brazilian Esport Interactivo reported Neymar had agreed to join PSG in world-record transfer worth €222 million (£197.3 million/$257 million) and the deal would be finalized in the coming weeks.
While the rumor made the soccer world buzz, Barcelona’s spokesperson Josep Vives has denied the possibility of Neymar leaving the club this summer.
“The only thing we care is, he keeps being happy here,” Vives said at a press conference, per ESPN. “He played a magnificent season and he is still one of the best in the world.
“He is happy in the club and the club is happy with him. He verbalizes it and he shows it with his attitude. We are relaxed about that and we only hope next season is better than the last one.
“Neymar’s departure is not in the club’s imagination; the club just thinks of keeping the best players like him, one of our main symbols.”
Neymar, 25, has confirmed himself as one of the world’s best players since he joined Barcelona in 2013. He has combined with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to form one of the most formidable attacking units in history and helped Barcelona win two La Liga (Spanish League), three Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup), one UEFA Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup titles.
The new contract Neymar signed with Barcelona in July 2016 reportedly contains a €222 million buyout clause, which PSG would have to trigger in order to pry him from his current team. PSG also would probably have to pay Neymar more than the €20 million (£16.8 million/$23 million) he currently earns per season.
PSG can afford to pay such eye-popping figures, but Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez is confident the French club lacks the will to do so.
“That’s not going to happen,” Fernandez said Monday, per ESPN. “We have not had any offers for any player in our squad and no club will pay the release clause.”
Barcelona quickly denied those rumors, and moved to secure Neymar to fresh contract terms within months.
That’s likely the case this time around.
Thumbnail photo via YouTube/La Liga
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