EUROPEAN FOOTBALL

Neymar’s move to PSG hits roadblock as La Liga rejects payment of buyout clause

The Brazilian is expected to arrive in Paris on Thursday to finalise his world-record move.

Spain’s La Liga refused to accept the payment of Neymar’s €222 million buyout clause, a league spokesperson confirmed on Thursday, potentially delaying the Brazilian’s world record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We can confirm that the legal representatives of the player attended La Liga to pay the clause and this has been rejected,” the spokesperson told AFP. Neymar is expected to arrive in Paris on Thursday to finalise his world record move, which will earn him around €30 million a year.

Neymar had been expected to complete his move to the French giants by the weekend after Barcelona announced the 25-year-old striker’s decision to leave on Wednesday on the condition his buyout clause was met. However, president of La Liga Javier Tebas has been an outspoken critic of PSG’s move to snatch one of the Spanish league’s biggest stars.

Tebas believes the astronomical sums being spent by the French giants, including a reported €30 million salary after tax for Neymar, makes it impossible for them to comply with financial fair play regulations. Clubs can be sanctioned by Uefa for making a loss of more than €30 million over a three-year period.

PSG have already been fined and saw their Champions League squad limited by Uefa for breaches of FFP in 2014. “We will not accept this money from a club like PSG,” Tebas told Madrid sports daily AS on Wednesday. “Especially when this club is infringing rules and laws.”

Spanish clubs have dominated the Champions League in recent seasons with Barcelona and Real Madrid winning the competition for the last four years and Tebas fears their place at the top of the pyramid could be threatened by “financial doping.”

The role played by PSG’s owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments has been looked upon skeptically in Spain with the El Mundo newspaper describing the move as a “state signing”.

“The clubs/state that compete with financial doping can destabilise professional football in Europe, the international market and competitions,” added Tebas.

On Wednesday, Barcelona admitted defeat in convincing Neymar to stay at the Camp Nou where he has played since 2013. Neymar is expected to arrive in Paris on Thursday to finalise his world record move, which will earn him around €30 million a year.

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