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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Neymar transfer from Barcelona to PSG set to be completed 'this weekend'

Reports in Spain that the Brazilian said goodbye to teammates and club confirm that the forward is departing.

Neymar, right, arrived at training in Barcelona on Wednesday, but did not take part and the Primera Liga side subsequently announced the Brazilian will be leaving the club. Josep Lago / AFP Photo.
Neymar, right, arrived at training in Barcelona on Wednesday, but did not take part and the Primera Liga side subsequently announced the Brazilian will be leaving the club. Josep Lago / AFP Photo.

Neymar's world record €222 million (Dh966.2m) transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain could be completed by the end of the week, the player's advisor Wagner Ribeiro said on Wednesday.

Ribeiro said at Barcelona's El Prat airport that PSG would pay Neymar's buyout clause "in the coming hours" and that the 25-year-old forward could be presented in Paris "this weekend".

Neymar was joined by his father, Ribeiro, and the rest of his entourage as they prepared to fly out of the Catalan capital to an as yet unconfirmed destination.

Earlier on Wednesday, Barca publicly confirmed for the first time after weeks of speculation that Neymar wants to leave the Spanish giants.

However, they insisted that his buyout clause be met rather than enter into negotiations with PSG.

"Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and representative, communicated to FC Barcelona this morning his decision to leave the club," Barca said in a statement. "The club have informed them that the buyout clause in his contract that from July 1 is €222m must be paid in full."

Such a fee would smash the record £89.3 million (Dh433.8m) Manchester United paid for Paul Pogba last year.

Barca's five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has given up hope of holding onto Neymar, though, as he thanked his teammate for their four years together in which they won two La Liga titles, a Champions League and three Spanish Cups.

"It was a huge pleasure having shared all those years with you, my friend @neymarjr," Messi wrote on Instagram.

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In another twitter posting restricted to the sports media, the club said he was leaving but gave no further details. That tweet was confirmed to Reuters by a spokeswomen.

A PSG spokesman declined to comment.

The former Santos player has a contract with Barca until 2021, but PSG, deposed by Monaco as French champions last term, appear prepared to activate his release clause.

In his three seasons in Catalunya, Neymar has helped Barca win Primera Liga twice, the Uefa Champions League once, three Copa del Reys and the Fifa Club World Cup.

Neymar signed for Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos for €57.1m, although it was later revealed the cost was closer to €100m.