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Neymar will leave if release clause is paid-off says Barca president

Barcelona’s president Josep Maria Bartomeu says that there is no way Neymar is leaving the club unless PSG will decide to pay the €222million release clause.

Josep Maria Bartomeu has made it clear that despite recent reports that the two clubs had agreed to a deal, Barcelona has no intention of parting with the Brazilian forward. Previous reports had suggested that Neymar had asked the club to allow the transfer to go through. PSG was said to have offered Angel Di Maria as part of the deal, which would have solved some of Barca’s problems in attack following Neymar’s departure.

Barcelona's president Josep Maria Bartomeu says that there is no way Neymar is leaving the club unless PSG will decide to pay the €222million release clause

However, the club’s president wanted to clarify this is actually not the case. Barcelona is unhappy to let Neymar go, but the president says that if the release clause is paid off, the team will have no choice in the matter. “They have to pay the clause, down to the last peseta. We want Neymar to stay but the clauses are there. If he wants to go, they can pay it and he goes,” Bartomeu tells ESPN.

PSG has aggressively pursued the transfer with reports suggesting that Neymar may have met with club officials to discuss his contract. Bartomeu warns the French side that as things stand they could be in danger of violating UEFA’s Financial Fair Play which could lead to sanctions. “UEFA has Fair Play controls and if any club exceeds them, they will be punished,” Barcelona’s president remarked.

PSG has aggressively pursued the transfer with reports suggesting that Neymar may have met with club officials to discuss his contract.

Now, Neymar’s transfer has turned into somewhat of a saga with updates coming in every day. Yesterday the player was involved in a scuffle in training with team-mate and new signing Semedo. Neymar left the field in anger despite attempts by the manager and other players to stop him. Some say that this could be the last straw and that following the altercation the Brazilian will demand the transfer.

Barcelona is already reportedly seeking a replacement for Neymar with another Brazilian, Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho, top of club’s shortlist. The Premier League side has issued a hands-off warning to Barca, however, Bartomeu says that there is a chance a deal could be agreed upon.

Barcelona is already reportedly seeking a replacement for Neymar with another Brazilian, Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho, top of club's shortlist.

“He’s a great player but we can’t say anything. You have to be discrete. [Head coach Ernesto Valverde] said a few days ago that he wants a competitive team who understand our needs very well. More players will come. One in the middle, for sure.”

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