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PSG sign Neymar in world-record €222m deal

791   //    04 Aug 2017, 01:08 IST
neymar - cropped
Barcelona forward Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain have completed an incredible world-record move to sign Barcelona forward Neymar for €222million (£198m).

Neymar signed a five-year deal in the French capital on Thursday that will reportedly net him an annual salary of €30m.

Barca were adamant the Brazil international was not for sale but the blockbuster deal gathered pace over recent days and culminated with his release clause being met.

Neymar will be presented as a PSG player at a media conference on Friday.

"Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious," Neymar said to PSG's website after his move went through.

"And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new team-mates is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want.

"Paris Saint-Germain's ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played four seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge."

On Wednesday, Barcelona confirmed Neymar had asked to leave the club as he was excused from training by head coach Ernesto Valverde.

He said goodbye to his team-mates at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training complex, with Lionel Messi then posting a fond farewell to his colleague on Instagram.

In a statement, Barcelona maintained PSG needed to pay Neymar's huge release clause in full but the saga took another twist when LaLiga refused to accept payment of the huge fee on Thursday.

But Barca later accepted the €222m after Neymar's lawyers arrived at their offices in person, with the club powerless to prevent the Ligue 1 giants pushing through a potentially era-defining transfer.

The deal marks an incredible response from PSG after they were knocked out of the Champions League in humiliating fashion by Barca and lost the French title to Monaco last season having won it for the previous four campaigns.

Neymar joins ex-Barcelona team-mate and compatriot Dani Alves along with fellow Brazilians Thiago Silva, Marquinhos and Lucas Moura at the Parc des Princes.

Alves, who moved to Paris in favour of an expected switch to Manchester City after leaving Juventus in June, is a close confidant to Neymar and advised him to make a "brave" decision on his future.

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