Barcelona won’t pay a €26 million bonus to Neymar for renewing his contract with the Catalan giants in 2016, a club spokesman said on Friday after his decision to join Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee.
Josep Vives admitted Barca had been left irritated by the Brazilian’s decision to leave despite signing a new five-year deal last year as PSG paid his €222 million (about R3.53 billion) buyout clause to leave Barca powerless to prevent Neymar moving on.
“Any separation causes annoyance, especially when it is one not wished for by the club due to a unilateral decision on the part of the player,” Vives told a press conference at the Camp Nou.
“The player hasn’t fulfilled his contract with the club... given that breach, the club will not pay this renewal bonus.”
Barca had deposited the bonus with a notary to be paid on September 1 had Neymar remained at the club, but have already recovered the €26m.
During his presentation as a PSG player on Friday, Neymar said that “at no point did I lack respect to the supporters or the club” in deciding to bring to an end his four years in Catalonia.
However, Vives insisted Barca are unhappy with the way in which his exit came about.
“There is annoyance at the decision, but also the way it came about.”
Yet, Vives claimed Barca can bounce back from losing out on La Liga and the Champions League last season, with the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez still among a star-studded squad.
“He is a great player, we have enjoyed him a lot, but the world doesn’t end after Neymar,” he added.
“It is not the first time that we have gone through a situation like this, and the club has continued, grown and become more universal.”
The move is not just a huge blow for Barca’s prospects on the field, but their prestige as one of the world’s richest and most successful clubs.
It is 17 years since Barca last lost one of their prized assets against their will when Real Madrid paid Luis Figo’s buyout clause for a then-world record fee of €62 million.