Spanish La Liga delays Neymar record transfer

League officials believe PSG are violating UEFA's financial fair play rules in the transfer from Barcelona.

    Spanish La Liga delays Neymar record transfer
    Neymar scored 105 goals while playing for Barcelona [Mike Segar/Reuters]

    The Spanish football league has refused to accept a $263m buyout payment from the lawyers of Brazil star Neymar, according to an official source, delaying the record transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

    La Liga said on Thursday that representatives of Neymar tried unsuccessfully to pay the buyout clause that would release the Brazillian forward from his contract with Barcelona and clear his signing for French club PSG.

    The league has also refused to act as an intermediary for the player, an official on the condition of anonymity told the Associated Press news agency.

    La Liga president Javier Tebas said on Wednesday that the league would not help the forward leave for PSG because it considers that the money funding the move breaks UEFA's financial fair play rules.

    READ MORE: Footballer Neymar set to complete world record transfer

    Tebas said the payment does not comply with the rules because PSG's Qatari owners are closely linked to Qatar's ruling family.

    "We won't accept the money from a club like PSG which doesn't belong to La Liga ... and especially when it is breaking laws and rules," Tebas told Spanish sports daily AS, claiming "the case of PSG is a clear example of financial doping by a state-supported club."

    The league's refusal does not stop Neymar's exit from Barcelona as the money can be paid directly to the club.

    Spain's Marca newspaper reported that Neymar and his advisers would turn to FIFA, world football's governing body, requesting a provisional transfer to PSG.

    The French football league LFP said on Thursday it did not understand why the Spanish league rejected the payment.

    Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG's president, declined to comment on the Spanish league's decision to refuse payment when asked about the issue at a charity event where he met French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday.

    Record deal 

    The payment of the clause would shatter the previous world record transfer of  $111m that Manchester United paid for France midfielder Paul Pogba last year.

    Neymar ended weeks of silence by telling Barcelona's executives, players and coach on Wednesday that his intention was to leave the club after four seasons.

    His representative, Wagner Ribeiro, then confirmed the widespread speculation that had been building all summer that PSG was willing to pay the record sum to trigger the release clause.

    Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said that the club would not negotiate and would demand the full payment of the clause.

    Last year, Neymar signed a new contract with Barcelona that tied him to the Catalan club through 2021.

    At 25, Neymar is already one of football's top talents.

    Neymar scored 105 goals playing alongside Lionel Messi and was a key playmaker for Barcelona as it won a Champions League, two Spanish leagues, three Copa del Reys, one Club World Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and two Spanish Super Cups.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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