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Forbes
Forbes
1 Jul 2023


Neymar might rejoin FC Barcelona if Paris Saint Germain pay the bulk of his salary.

Neymar could be close to joining FC Barcelona.

Getty Images

FC Barcelona have "everything agreed upon" with Paris Saint-Germain to sign Neymar, according to beIN Sports' Khaled Waleed, but there is one "core point of contention" holding the deal back from being finalized.

Neymar famously left the Catalans in 2017 when Qatari-owned PSG smashed the world transfer record by activating his €222 million ($242 million) release clause.

Six years on, the move hasn't been the roaring success both the club and player expected. Though PSG have won a vast amount of domestic trophies on the number 10's watch, a first Champions League still eludes them and Neymar has also failed to clinch soccer's highest individual accolade known as the Ballon d'Or.

While the current holder of that gong, ex-Barca teammate Lionel Messi, was still at the Parc des Princes, a report emerged from L'Equipe explaining that PSG were looking to offload Neymar this summer on loan with an option to buy included in the arrangement.

On the evening Messi revealed he had snubbed Barca and Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, and would instead be joining Inter Miami, SPORT reported that Neymar had been "offered" to Barca.

Head coach Xavi Hernandez soon defused this by telling Gerard Romero that this was a "surprise".

"I appreciate Neymar as a person, as a player, as a friend. He’s a great player", Xavi added, before stating that the Brazilian is "not in our plans".

Recent weeks have seen Waleed report how Barca and PSG were in negotiations related to hashing out a deal for Neymar, and the Qatari now adds that everything is agreed upon between the two clubs except for the player's salary which is "the core point of contention".

Put simply, Neymar will only play in Barcelona again "if Paris pays the bulk of his salary" according to Waleed.

This isn't unheard of when a highly-paid star is shipped out on loan to another outfit, and is a practice Barca have carried out a number of times.

The SPORT report implied that Neymar would be bought by Barca, and obviously both a transfer fee and then the 31-year-old's high wages would be tricky to navigate in times of financial hardship.

Through a loan, however, Barca would not have to pay to purchase Neymar and might only need to cough up a fraction of his salary if PSG agree.

In Forbes' most recent edition of the World's Highest-Paid Athletes published in May, Neymar finished 12th with earnings of $35 million off-field and $50 million on-field at PSG.

If a deal is to be agreed, Barca and PSG need to work out how much of that $50 million should be footed by the Blaugrana.