Neymar on verge of record-breaking move to PSG
Neymar's record-breaking 222 million euros (198.82 million pounds) transfer from Barcelona to French side Paris Saint-Germain appeared close to completion on Wednesday, when his agent predicted he could be unveiled by the weekend.
Neymar's team mate Lionel Messi posted a farewell message on social media to the Brazilian, whose agent Wagner Ribeiro was quoted on Spanish radio as saying PSG would pay Barcelona's asking price and his client was en route to finalise the deal.
"They (PSG) are going to pay Neymar's (222 million euros buyout) clause today so that he can be presented at the weekend," Ribeiro told Spanish radio station Cadena COPE. "They (Neymar and his father) are in the air now."
The move would complete a hectic few days in which Neymar's heavily trailed exit has inched closer.
Events moved swiftly on Wednesday when Barcelona released a statement announcing that the 25-year-old had informed them of his intention to leave, and confirming the amount of his buy-out clause.
"The player Neymar Jr, accompanied by his father and agent, has informed FC Barcelona this morning of his decision to leave the club in a meeting held at the club’s offices," Barcelona said in a statement.
"The club refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of 1 July totals 222 million euros."
Earlier the 25-year-old arrived at the club's training ground to tell team mates he was moving to Paris, Catalan radio RAC1 reported.
The Brazilian striker left the training area minutes later, it said, with the club confirming on Twitter that he had been given permission not to train.
Neymar's departure would end a four-year stay at the club, where he formed a formidable strike force with Messi and Luis Suarez.
Messi reacted to his team-mate's imminent move by posting on his Instagram account: "It was a great pleasure to have shared all these years with you, my friend @naymarjr. I wish you much luck in this new stage of your life. Be seeing you."
In October, Neymar signed a new contract until 2021 with the buy-out clause raised.
Image: Neymar, left, and Lionel Messi look on during a FC Barcelona training session
Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images