Barcelona take legal action against Neymar for alleged breach of contract
Barcelona have announced they are taking legal action against Neymar after alleging the Brazilian failed to fulfil his contract.
Earlier this month, the Catalan giants saw Neymar depart for Paris Saint-Germain, who met the €222million release clause in the player's contract, smashing the world transfer record in the process.
Neymar has made a stunning start to his time in Ligue 1, scoring three times in his first two games, but on Tuesday Barca released a statement confirming they were suing the forward for at least €8.5m.
Barca's complaint relates to Neymar having signed a fresh deal until 2021 in October last year, with the club hoping to recoup his "renewal premium" as well as €8.5m in damages and a further 10 per cent in arrears.
The club went on to say that if Neymar is unable to pay, PSG will be expected to cover the costs.
Comunicado del FC Barcelona pic.twitter.com/opVIIJ4mh6— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) August 22, 2017
"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 per cent because of delayed payment," the statement read.
"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.
"This legal defence will be carried out following the established procedures with the competent authorities without entering into any verbal arguments with the player."
Shortly after Neymar completed his move to PSG, Barca announced that the player would not receive a €26m loyalty bonus after they accused him of breaching his contract.
It was reported that Neymar's father - also his agent - held up the move to PSG beyond the end of July in order to trigger the payment, which had been inserted as part of his new deal.
"There were three conditions [to the bonus]: one, that the player does not negotiate with another club in the last three months before July 31," Barca said at the time.
"Two, that he will express publicly his commitment to fulfil his contract.
"Three, the collection was to be made on September 1, to ensure that he did not go to another club."
After scoring twice on his home debut for PSG - a 6-2 thrashing of Toulouse on Sunday - Neymar took aim at the Barcelona board, claiming "there are directors that shouldn't be there".
"I had four very happy years there, but Barca deserve much better. I have a lot of friends there," he added.
"I hope things get better for Barca and that they go back to being a team that can compete."