Soccer

Neymar loses lawsuit over signing bonus with Barcelona

AP

A Spanish court has ruled in favor of Barcelona in a dispute with former player Neymar over a signing bonus paid in part to the Brazil striker before he left for Paris Saint-Germain.

On Friday, the court rejected Neymar’s suit that Barcelona owed him €43 million ($48 million) from part of a signing bonus that it never paid the player.

The court ruled instead that Neymar must pay Barcelona €6.7 million ($7.5 million), corresponding to part of the signing bonus it had already paid.

Barcelona and Neymar agreed to a new contact in 2016 that included a signing bonus of €64 million. The club paid him €22.5 million in July 2016 and was supposed to pay him the remaining €43 million by July 2017.

The club, however, withheld the second payment because that summer was rife with media reports indicating Neymar was negotiating a move to PSG against the wishes of Barcelona. The French club ended up signing Neymar on Aug. 3, 2017, after paying a world-record €222 million euros (then $262 million) to trigger the buyout clause in his contract.

Barcelona had sued Neymar for the return of the full €22.5 million it had paid him.

The legal dispute comes amid ongoing media speculation that Neymar and Barcelona would like to rejoin forces at some point.

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