It’s been an explosive week at Camp Nou as reports release that Neymar has formally requested to leave Barcelona. The club didn’t deny the reports and came out with this statement:
“The player 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 1 July totals 222 million euros which will have to be deposited in its entirety.”
Despite blow back from the La Liga President who accused PSG of ‘financial doping’ the transfer is drawn up and ready to go through. Neymar’s agent and representatives paid the contract buy-out clause and Neymar will be the new transfer record holder, absolutely obliterating the previous record set by Paul Pogba.
The move may not be as much of a surprise as you think, in fact, it may be based almost entirely in pettiness. See, PSG have a strict policy that clubs don’t approach their players, but approach the club. Rumors were circulating that Barcelona was trying to make contact with PSG star Veratti.
PSG apparently decided to not only call that ‘buy-out clause’ bluff, but put any of those rumors to bed. Both by purchasing Neymar and then taking the time to tweet out this little gem:
So while Barcelona will huff and puff about the UEFA ‘fair play’ clauses, the fact is the wheels are in motion and they’ve (all but) accepted the buy-out money. This means Neymar is certainly moving, but who does this help the most?
Certainly not Barcelona, while the money is great, Neymar was the youngest member of the trident and would have easily been considered the de facto star as Messi and Suarez are both in the latter half of their careers.
Many think that Neymar made a great move for himself. Desiring more trophies and prestige for his own career, PSG have a chance to be an unstoppable force in champions league with Neymar at the front and center of the attack.
And while PSG are certainly pleased with themselves, the big winner here may just be Nike.
Neymar is poised to become the new face of the Mercurial line, replacing Cristiano Ronaldo, and his moving to a new league will help to further spread Nike’s influence on the global soccer market. PSG has lacked a ‘poster-personality’ since the depature of Ibrahimovoic, and Neymar Jr. certainly brings that charisma to the table.