PSG's Neymar to contest Barcelona lawsuit over world-record move

Neymar criticised the Barcelona board earlier this week

Paris St-Germain forward Neymar will contest the legal action brought against him by former club Barcelona.

Barcelona want a 8.5m euros (£7.8m) renewal bonus Neymar received for signing a five-year deal - just nine months before his move - returned.

The Brazil international made a record 222m euro (£200m) move to PSG in August after buying out his contract.

"The player's formal defence will be filed in due course," read a statement from the 25-year-old and his lawyers.

Neymar also seemed to suggest Barcelona owe him money following his Nou Camp exit, rather than the other way round.

His statement added: "Regarding the bonuses owed for the execution of the contract of 2016, it is also necessary to inform that the player has already initiated the formal procedures of collection before the competent courts."

On Tuesday, Barcelona had demanded the return of the "already paid" renewal bonus, plus an additional 10% for delayed payment. "The club demands the player return the already paid sum as he has not completed his contract," it said.

Neymar with Gerard Pique and, right, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi
Neymar's increasing bitter departure from Barcelona does not seem to extend as far as the Catalan side's dressing room, as he posted pictures of himself with former team-mates Gerard Pique, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi on Instagram

"The club also requests Paris St-Germain take on responsibility for the payment of these fees if the player cannot do so himself," the Catalan club added.

Paris St-Germain later responded to say they were "surprised" by Barcelona's statement, adding: "The club repeats that, along with Neymar Jr, it strictly respected all applicable laws and rules and can only regret, once again, the attitude of FC Barcelona."

The lawsuit was submitted on 11 August to the Labour Tribunal in Barcelona.

Following the transfer, Barcelona announced the club was withholding a further 26m euro (£23m) loyalty bonus from the player.

Neymar criticised the directors of his old club on Sunday after scoring twice on his home debut for PSG in a 6-2 win over Toulouse.

"I spent four beautiful years there and parted happy," said the 25-year-old. "But with [the board], no.

"For me, they are not the people who should be there, for the direction of Barca. Barca deserve much better."


Spanish football journalist Eduardo Alvarez speaking to BBC World Service after Barca announced their intention to sue

I am surprised about this news because this Barcelona board has some history in this type of action.

They sued former President Juan Laporta (seeking to hold him personally responsible for alleged losses during his mandate) and they lost that case.

It was terrible in terms of reputation for the club. Laporta was exonerated. Now, to be suing a former player sounds extremely harsh even if you don't agree with the way he left.

Barcelona mentioned in their statement that they sent this case to the Spanish authorities on 11 August so maybe Neymar's words on Sunday after his PSG home debut were a reaction this news?


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