Neymar's proposed world record move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain appears to have hit a snag on Thursday lunchtime after La Liga sensationally refused to accept the payment of €222m to trigger the Brazilian superstar's buyout clause.
La Liga chief Javier Tebas has been very vocal in his fight against the transfer, which was expected to be completed on Thursday evening or Friday, and seems to have carried through with his threats to try and derail the deal.
Numerous reports have suggested that a team of lawyers representing Neymar and PSG arrived at La Liga offices at 12pm (CET) on Thursday to complete the process of triggering the clause and releasing the player from Camp Nou.
1/2 La Liga have this morning refused to accept attempt by PSG/Neymar lawyers to pay Neymar €222m release clause— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 3, 2017
In Spain it is the player who must buy himself out of his contract in these circumstances, usually with money supplied by the buying club. The money is deposited with La Liga, who then pass it on to the selling club. Due to tax implications transfers are rarely completed in such manner, with the two parties often agreeing a formal transfer fee the same size as the stated clause.
In this case, however, Barcelona's refusal to negotiate with PSG means the deal is having to go through the formal release/buyout clause procedure.
2/2 About five PSG/Neymar lawyers arrived at La Liga HQ in Madrid. Left after about 15 mins. La Liga refusing to be bullied by PSG or Neymar— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) August 3, 2017
But in an unexpected turn, La Liga officials refused to accept the attempts from PSG and Neymar to buy the 25-year-old, who has Ballon d'Or aspirations, out of his Barcelona contract.
It has been reported that the Neymar entourage unsuccessfully left La Liga HQ just 15 minutes after arriving, leaving the state of the deal open to fresh uncertainty after the latest events.
Tebas has previously accused PSG of not having the financial wherewithal to complete the transfer while staying within UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.