Rumors are heating up that Barcelona and Brazil star Neymar is set to move to Paris Saint-Germain after quitting training. If it comes to fruition, the transfer would be the most expensive in football history.
The transfer of Neymar from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) appeared to be getting closer to a reality on Wednesday after the player told his teammates he was leaving before being given permission to quit training.
On Monday, Qatari newspaper "Al-Watan" had reported that Neymar would undergo a medical in Qatar this week, which would pave the way for a move to the French capital and Qatari-owned PSG.
On Tuesday, however, the French sports daily "L'Equipe" reported that the Brazil star's medical was unlikely to happen until late this week or early next, and that it would happen in Paris.
Now, Barcelona have confirmed that the striker only trained for 30 minutes on Wednesday morning, fueling rumors that a move to Paris is indeed imminent.
If the transfer does take place, it will be the most expensive in the history of football, as PSG would have to pay 222 million euros ($262 million) to trigger the release clause in the 25-year-old attacker's contract with Barcelona.
Blocked bonus payment
Meanwhile, the agency also quoted a source at Barcelona as saying that the club had blocked the payment of a 26-million-euro ($31-million) bonus to Neymar, which was part of a contract extension he signed a year ago, that was to keep him at the club through 2021. The renewal bonus was to be payable after he completed a further year at the club, and took effect this August 1.
"These 26 million euros have been placed with a notary pending to see if the player continues," the source, who declined to be named, told AFP.
pfd/mf (AFP, dpa, SID)