Barcelona settles Neymar lawsuits

BARCELONA said Monday they had “ended out of court in an amicable fashion” the various lawsuits with their former player Neymar.

“As such, a transactional agreement between the club and the player has been signed to end the legal cases that were pending between the two parties: three claims related to labour and a civil case,” the Spanish football club said in a statement.

The Brazilian superstar Neymar enjoyed a successful spell at Barca between 2013 and 2017 before joining Paris Saint-Germain for a then world record $261m.

He joined Barca in 2013 and signed a new five-year contract in 2016, which included a renewal bonus worth $67m. Most ot the lawsuits concern this bonus.

Barcelona paid $22m of this bonus before Neymar left for PSG but then refused to pay the remaining amount, insisting the terms of his contract had been broken.

A Spanish court in June 2020 ordered Neymar to pay Barcelona $8m, saying he had no right to collect the bonus since he cut short his contract with the club.

Neymar also took Barca to court to demand $3.8m, which he argued the club owed him relating to his final month in Catalonia.

Despite their legal disputes, Barca have made several attempts to re-sign Neymar. A fresh bid seems impossible for now, given Barca’s financial problems as a result of the coronavirus pandemic although the deal to settle all outstanding lawsuits is bound to renew speculation of a possible return.

The 29-year-old remains a popular figure at the Barca where he formed a devastating attacking trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez during his time at Camp Nou.

United edging closer to signing Real’s Verane
Manchester United are edging towards a deal with Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane after more positive talks over the weekend. Varane, 28, has told Real he has no wish to extend his current contract, which still has a year to run. United are in discussions with the France international’s camp and Real.

No agreement has been reached yet over a fee but there is an increasing feeling that talks will eventually reach a successful conclusion. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made strengthening the centre of his side’s defence one of his key priorities this summer. AFP

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