Neymar's world record move to Paris Saint-Germain is a step closer after Barcelona confirmed the Brazil playmaker has asked to leave the Nou Camp. The 25-year-old has been given permission to miss training on Wednesday [2 August] in order to complete his move to France the world record deal looms.
The 25-year-old only signed a new deal at the Nou Camp last summer but his career at the club is seemingly coming to an end amid reports PSG are ready to meet his €222m (£198.6m, $262m) release clause to lure him to Ligue 1.
And for the first time since the reports first emerged, Neymar has revealed his desire to leave Barcelona, four years on from joining the club from Santos.
"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 confirmed through an official statement.
"Faced with this position, the Club has informed them they refer to the buy-out clause of his existing contract which as of 1 July totals €222m which will have to be deposited in its entirety.
"Furthermore, in reply to the claim for the contract extension bonus, the Club has once again made it clear that the amount remains deposited with a notary until the case is resolved. The player remains under contract at FC Barcelona but with temporary permission to not take part in training sessions."
The Catalan giants are awaiting an offer from PSG which would trigger his release clause but the deal to take him to the French capital appears to be a mere formality, allowing Neymar to become main man under PSG boss Unai Emery and write his own story away from the shadow of Lionel Messi.
Barcelona have claimed they want to keep the Olympic gold medallist but last week president Josep Maria Bartomeu conceded that the La Liga giants will be unable to prevent his departure if Neymar wants to leave the Nou Camp – upon his €222m release clause is triggered.
Neymar did report to the Barcelona training ground on Wednesday but left after thirty minutes. It is understood that he has bid his farewell to the rest of his teammates ahead of completing his proposed move to Paris.
PSG are now expected to meet Neymar's release clause and make him the most expensive player of all time - eclipsing the £89m world record fee paid by United for Paul Pogba during the last summer transfer window.
Neymar will become into the fourth player to leave the Nou Camp this summer following the €4m sale of Cristian Tello to Real Betis and departures of Jeremy Mathieu and Jordi Masip on a free.
Barcelona are expected to use Neymar's €222m fee a host of new signings, having only made three additions so far this summer in Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Marlon Santos.