Neymar's move away from Barcelona has upended soccer's transfer market late this summer, putting one of soccer's giants in a perilous position as the transfer window nears its closing at the end of August. After losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record transfer fee, Barcelona has desperately tried to poach players from other top clubs, with little to no success so far.
So what's their next move? To sue Neymar personally, I guess. That's the public position they're taking as of now, and according to a press release available on the team's website, they expect Neymar to cough up some money for breach of contract.
In the lawsuit, the Club demands the player return the already paid sum for his contract renewal as he has not completed his contract; 8.5 million euros in damages; and an additional 10% because of delayed payment. The Club also requests Paris Saint-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself.
FC Barcelona has started these proceedings to protect its interests following Neymar’s decision to buy out his contract just months after he signed an extension until 2021.
To play catch-up, Neymar signed an extension with the club back in November 2016, and when he put his name on the dotted line, he was paid that €8.5 million signing bonus just for agreeing to it. But as is becoming standard practice for lots of soccer contracts, it came with a release clause that Barcelona figured no one would ever pay. They figured wrong, because PSG decided it was worth the €222 million to obtain a star player in his prime, and one who could soon become the best player in the world.
With the club taking a position of saltiness over the ordeal, you might have expected some of Neymar's former teammates at Barcelona to feel a certain type of way about the move. But their reaction has been anything but selfish, and they appear excited for him to have his new opportunity. Lionel Messi, whose prime years are winding down and is hurt the most by Neymar's departure, shared a photo of the pair with Luis Suarez right around the time the press release dropped from the club.
Neymar certainly isn't ducking his former teammates either. Shortly after Messi shared the above group photo, Neymar tweeted out a picture of him and Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, both men all smiles despite the chaos at the club.
If they end up meeting in Champion's League, maybe the animosity between both sides will heighten, and these photos of everyone cheesing will feel like a distant memory. Until then, it's Barcelona the club that looks bad, while the players involved—including Neymar—continue to position themselves on high ground.