- Spanish football league officials blocked Neymar’s move to PSG — and now the French are threatening legal action.
- There is political support for the transfer in France, with President Emmanuel Macron congratulating PSG.
- PSG is reportedly relaxed that the Neymar deal will get done soon.
A tug-of-war has broken out over Neymar’s world record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
PSG wants to activate the Brazilian’s €222 million (£198.5 million) buyout clause and a lawyer representing the player attempted to pay the fee on Thursday, in accordance with Spanish football law.
But the transaction was blocked by La Liga, the top professional football division in Spain, amid concerns that PSG is violating UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
“We can confirm that the player’s lawyers came to the La Liga offices this morning to deposit the clause and that it has been rejected,” a La Liga spokesperson told BI.
The decision angered the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP), which runs the major football leagues in France. On Thursday afternoon, the LFP said it would help take legal action to get the Neymar transfer done.
In a statement, which was tweeted by BBC sports news correspondent Richard Conway, the LFP said:
“The LFP is surprised and does not understand the refusal of the Liga to simply accept the payment of the release clause of the player Neymar.
“The LFP supports Paris Saint-Germain and wishes Neymar to join the Ligue 1 championship. The legal services of the LFP are in support and at the disposal of Paris Saint-Germain so that the Neymar contract is approved as soon as possible.”
And it’s not just the LFP that wants the deal to go through. There is evidently political will in France for the transfer to happen, as French President Emmanuel Macron applauded PSG’s ambition.
“Congratulations! I understand there’s good news,” Reuters quoted Macron as saying to PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi on a visit to a children’s holiday camp outside of Paris on Thursday.
PSG is said to be relaxed about the transfer saga.
The BBC’s Conway said the club “do not anticipate any significant delay” to the deal after La Liga rejected payment for Neymar. Barcelona, meanwhile, told Associated Press that it is “waiting to see how the situation develops.”
Barcelona granted Neymar “temporary permission” to not take part in any training sessions after the forward said farewell to players like Lionel Messi on Wednesday. Other teammates are already publically wishing Neymar success in his next venture.
“My friend i (sic) wish you the best in everything that comes,” Luis Suarez said in an Instagram post. “Love you little bro.”
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