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BREAKING: PSG sign Neymar in world record deal

Paris Saint-Germain have completed an incredible world-record move to sign Barcelona forward Neymar for €222million (£198m).

Neymar has signed a five-year deal in the French capital that will reportedly net him a salary of €30m annually.

Barca were adamant the Brazil international was not for sale but the blockbusting deal gathered pace over recent days and culminated with his release clause being met.

On Wednesday, Barcelona confirmed Neymar had asked to leave the club as he was excused from training by head coach Ernesto Valverde.

He said goodbye to his team-mates at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training complex, with Lionel Messi then posting a fond farewell to his colleague on Instagram.

In a statement, Barcelona maintained PSG needed to pay Neymar’s huge release clause in full but the saga took another twist when LaLiga refused to accept payment of the huge fee on Thursday.

He will earn 45m euros (£40.7m) a year – 865,000 euros (£782,000) a week – before tax from the initial five-year deal, a total outlay of £400m.

Neymar said he has joined “one of the most ambitious clubs in Europe”.

“Paris St-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings,” he added.

“I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new team-mates.”

The French side have arranged a news conference for 12:30 BST on Friday. Neymar will then be introduced to fans on Saturday at PSG’s first game of the season against Amiens at Parc des Princes.

After weeks of speculation, Neymar arrived for training with Barcelona on Wednesday with his father and representative, and told the Spanish club he wanted to leave.

He was then given permission by Barca manager Ernesto Valverde to leave to “sort out his future”.

In Spain, a release clause can only be activated by a player buying himself out of his contract.

But when Neymar’s lawyers attempted to make the deposit on Thursday, La Liga officials rejected the payment. Further statements followed from all sides as the negotiations continued.

La Liga believes French club PSG are violating Uefa’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and Barcelona previously said they would report PSG to European football’s governing body Uefa for a FFP breach.

PSG believes La Liga was acting unlawfully, while the French league (LFP) said it was “surprised” and urged its Spanish counterpart to “abide by the Fifa rules”.

Unable to get La Liga to take the payment, Neymar’s representatives paid the 222m euros (£200m) fee at Barca’s offices instead.

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