The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have rubbished a report in El Pais that claimed superstar Neymar could leave Paris Saint-Germain through an exit clause in his contract worth €300 million.
Spanish newspaper El Pais had claimed that a failure to win the Champions League, the Ballon d’Or or The Best FIFA’s Men’s Player would have activated a €300 million release clause in Neymar’s contract on Sept. 1 of this year.
But the LFP issued a statement via French outlet L’Equipe in response to the article, citing a rule that says minimum fee release clauses and exit clauses are not permitted in professional French football contracts.
“The LFP issues a clear reminder about article 202 of its rule book,” the LFP statement read. “Clubs are not allowed to sign contracts that contain release clauses that enable the agreement between both parties (player and club) to be unilaterally terminated.
“Therefore, with this text in place, Neymar’s contract is unable to contain such a clause. There is no such clause in the player’s contract, which was approved by the LFP’s legal committee.”
It is not impossible that a gentleman’s agreement exists between Neymar and PSG, through his agent and father Neymar Senior and club owners Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), but neither party have revealed the existence of such an agreement or any sort of timeframe.
The 26-year-old remains in his native Brazil continuing his recovery from a surgery to mend a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, but his future has attracted fresh speculation recently.
El Pais’ report surfaced after Neymar’s Instagram post of him playing virtual poker with the PSG match on in the background caused controversy by making him look disinterested as PSG mauled Monaco 7-1 to win their seventh Ligue 1 title.
The French champions’ No. 10 defended the post in an interview earlier this week, saying that poker is how he passes much of the time during treatment on his injury.
Neymar also said he should be operational again by May 17, but the El Pais reported also said the player “dropped a bomb” on PSG chairman and CEO Nasser Al-Khelaifi and sporting director Antero Henrique during their recent visit to South America to check on the recuperating Brazil international by refusing to return to Paris early when requested.
The Qatari supremo and the Portuguese transfer guru were said to have returned to Europe “defeated,” with Neymar’s recent social media activity supposedly “mocking” PSG.
The disputed article also quoted an unnamed source as saying that “the only thing missing is for Neymar to say that he wants out.”
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.