Neymar’s world record £199m transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain looks set to become the subject of a legal wrangle after Spanish league chiefs attempted to block the move.
La Liga officials refused to accept payment when a party representing PSG and the Brazil forward arrived at their offices on Thursday to activate the €222m (£199m) buy-out clause in Neymar’s Barca contract.
But there are doubts over whether La Liga has the power to intervene, raising the possibility that the transfer could descend into a legal fight.
Barcelona and La Liga have complained that PSG’s move stands to infringe Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and that European governing body Uefa should probe the transfer accordingly.
But Uefa have indicated that they will not act pre-emptively and will only judge whether PSG have broken FFP rules once their accounts for this season are submitted and assessed, next year at the earliest.
Neymar’s agent Wagner Ribeiro indicated on Wednesday that he expected his client to sign for PSG by the end of the week. Presentation of the player had been anticipated as early as Friday.
The 25-year-old, who joined Barcelona in 2013 from Brazilian side Santos, was given permission to miss training by his club on Wednesday in order to sort out his future.
His departure looked all the more certain when Barca superstar Lionel Messi posted his goodbye on Instagram later that day.
Neymar is expected to sign a five-year contract with the Qatar-backed French club worth £515,000 a week.