Neymar is no longer a Barcelona player after the club accepted a payment of €222 million that activates the Brazilian star’s buyout clause, clearing the way for a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The deal had stalled earlier in the day when La Liga rejected the payment from the Brazil international’s legal team, forcing them to travel to Barcelona to make the payment directly to the club.
Sources told ESPN FC that Neymar is now expected to arrive in the French capital on Thursday night to put pen to paper on a five-year deal with PSG worth €30m annually after tax.
A presentation is planned for Friday, and the source said it is possible he could debut in PSG’s Ligue 1 opener at home against Amiens on Saturday.
Once PSG confirms Neymar’s signing, he will become the most expensive transfer ever — more than doubling Manchester United’s €105m capture of Paul Pogba from Juventus last year.
However, despite the transfer saga drawing to an end, it’s unlikely to completely disappear, with Barca saying they will send the details to UEFA to ensure the French club are adhering to financial fair play regulations.
“On Thursday afternoon, Neymar Jr’s legal representatives visited in person the club’s offices and made the payment of €222m in the player’s name with regards to the unilateral termination of the contract that united both parties,” a Barcelona statement said.
“As such, the club will pass on to UEFA the details of the above operation so that they can determine the disciplinary responsibilities that may arise from this case.”
Neymar has been the subject of intense speculation all summer and Barcelona earlier confirmed on Wednesday that the 25-year-old had informed them of his intention to leave.
On top of those future earnings and significant bonuses, a source added that Neymar and his father will also profit from a number of club owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments’ other commercial ventures in Paris and outside of the footballing world.
Neymar helped Barca win one Champions League, two La Liga titles and three Copas del Rey as well as one FIFA Club World Cup and one Spanish Super Cup during his four-year stint in Catalonia, and he scored 105 goals across all competitions.