Sunday 18 March 2018

Lionel Messi leaves heartfelt tribute to Neymar as Barcelona star cleared for move to Paris

Barelona indicated that a move to PSG would require the full payment of Neymar’s 222million euro buy-out clause.

(Eugene Hoshiko/AP/PA)
(Eugene Hoshiko/AP/PA)

By Peter Cary

Lionel Messi has paid tribute to Neymar as the Barcelona forward begins pre-season transfer talks with Paris St-Germain.

The Argentine striker posted a message to his Instagram account which read: “It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you, my friend. @neymarjr. I wish you good luck in this new stage of your life. See you tomorrow,” alongside a slideshow of photographs cataloguing their partnership at the premier Spanish club.

Barca confirmed rumours that the Brazilian forward would be allowed to move to PSG on Wednesday, providing his new employers paid his 222million euro (£198.5million) buy-out clause in full.

Neymar made a brief visit to Barcelona’s training ground on Wednesday to inform them of his wish to leave, and departed before their training session began.

Neymar and Messi shared a close working relationship at Barcelona (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

A club statement read: “Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club’s offices.

“Faced with this position, the club has informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of July 1 totals 222million euros, which will have to be deposited in its entirety.

“Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the club has once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved.

“The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions.”

PSG will have to pay Neymar’s full buy-out clause if they want to complete the transfer (Tim Goode/PA)

PSG seem keen to initiate the deal despite the hefty price tag, adding to concerns from Barca fans who are afraid to see him go.

The video quickly amassed nearly 4.5 million views, along with comments expressing dismay at the loss.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News