Barcelona will not pay Neymar the €26m (£23.5m) loyalty bonus from the new deal the Brazil international signed in July 2016. Club spokesman Josep Vives has confirmed the decision of the La Liga giants after earlier on Thursday (3 August) the 25-year-old star decided to leave the Nou Camp to complete a world record move to Paris Saint-Germain by paying his €222m release clause.
the first year of his contract, €222m for the second and €250m for the remaining three in order to ward off potential suitors.
Furthermore, in addition to a lucrative pay-rise, Barcelona agreed to include a €26m loyalty bonus as part of the deal, which was expected to be paid on 1 August 2017.
However, earlier this week Barcelona decided to deposit the money with a notary – instead of directly to Neymar due to the uncertainty over his future – until a solution over whether he will be due the payment is reached.
The Catalan club’s fears were realised on Thursday after Neymar paid his €222 buy-out clause to complete his move to PSG.
It has been reported in recent days that Neymar is still expecting to receive the €26m loyalty bonus from Barcelona amid suggestions that the agreement didn’t specify that the player had to fulfill his five-year contract.
However, Barcelona spokesman Vives has now made it clear that the club won’t pay Neymar that money.
“There were three conditions: one, that the player didn’t negotiate with another club before 31 July; two, that he publicly expressed his decision to fulfil his contract; and three, the payment was to be made on 1 September, to ensure he didn’t go to another club,” Vives said in a press conference on Friday. “With this criteria not met, the club will not pay the renewal bonus. The money is no longer with a notary, but back with the club.”
The La Liga giants are already preparing for life without the Brazilian, having been linked in recent days with the likes of Borussia Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele, Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe.
Recent report in Spain are claiming that the club are also set to complete the signing of Inigo Martinez from Real Sociedad to bolster Ernesto Valverde’s back-line.
However, Vives suggested that Barcelona are yet to make a decision on how to spend the €222m generated by Neymar’s sale to PSG.
“We have to discuss about it,” Vives said whether the club have already decide who will sign to replace Neymar. “It’s a very important decision, it’s the highest release clause paid in the history. We’re not going to decide what to do with that money in 24 hours.”