Barcelona let Neymar miss training as PSG close in
Paris Saint-Germain's world-record move for Neymar appeared to move a step closer as the Brazil star was released from Barcelona training.
Neymar has been granted permission to miss training by Barcelona as his world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain reportedly nears completion.
Reports in Spain on Wednesday morning claimed the Brazil forward visited Barcelona's training ground to say farewell to his team-mates ahead of a €222million switch to the French capital.
A brief statement on Barcelona's Twitter page confirmed Neymar was allowed to forego a practice session with the blessing of head coach Ernesto Valverde.
"Neymar Jr hasn't trained on Wednesday with the permission of the coach," Barca tweeted.
Neymar Jr hasn't trained on Wednesday with the permission of the coach #FCBlive— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 2, 2017
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi hinted the signing could be close in an interview on Tuesday, while LaLiga president Javier Tebas again questioned the legality of the transfer in a piece published by AS on Wednesday.
Tebas complained last week that any deal for PSG to bring in Neymar would be in breach of UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules and he told AS that LaLiga would not accept the transfer, with a willingness to take its fight to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the European Union.
"If PSG come with the money for Neymar's [release] clause we will not accept it," he said. "They are financial dopers, breaking FFP laws.
"We will not accept money from a club who, without belonging to LaLiga, wants to take advantage of a right of our organisation – even more when this club is breaking rules and laws.
"If UEFA do not react, we will present an FFP complaint immediately. The complaint is ready and will be presented to UEFA, to the European Union and the Swiss courts (CAS), which are the courts that have jurisdiction.
"Basically, what will be denounced is the unfair competition that involves competing against teams that receive economic injections from countries.
"PSG are a clear example of financial doping. Their accounts show more commercial income than Ream Madrid or Manchester United. Well, that's impossible.
"The truth is UEFA have not been able to control the situation, so action must be taken within the EU's competition sphere."
Tebas criticised UEFA for focusing upon PSG limiting losses under their 2014 FFP punishment, while he accused their sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority of being "state funding" that does not represent realistic market value.
Irrespective of whether the deal goes through, Tebas insists LaLiga's prestige would not be damaged by Neymar's departure.
"He's a great player, but I sincerely believe that LaLiga is above Neymar," he added.
"With all due respect for him, I would have worried more if we were talking about [Lionel] Messi or Cristiano [Ronaldo]."