Neymar’s father and agent, Neymar Sr, has told Spanish radio that Barcelona lost his support to retain his son when they refused to pay a bonus for signing a new contract last year.
The Brazilian joined Paris Saint-Germain on Thursday after the French side paid his 222 million euro ($264 million) buyout clause to smash the world transfer record, saying in an Instagram video he had gone against the advice of his father.
However, Neymar Sr claimed the Barcelona board lost his support when they failed to pay the 26 million euro ($30.8 million) bonus due earlier this week unless Neymar remained at the club this season.
“In that moment Barcelona lost my support when they did that,” Neymar Sr told Cadena Cope.
“Until that moment I was on Barcelona’s side trying to convince Neymar to stay, but with the attitude of the board I couldn’t be on their side because the contract is explicit and clear.”
Barca spokesman Josep Vives confirmed on Friday that the club had deposited the bonus with a notary to be paid on September 1 if Neymar stayed.
However, the club has now recovered the money as according to Vives “the player hasn’t fulfilled his contract.”
Neymar Sr’s huge influence over his son’s career has been criticised in the media during his four-year spell in Spain.
Barca also paid a 40 million euro bonus to a company owned by the player’s parents N&N to bring him to the Camp Nou from Santos back in 2013.
However, Neymar Sr insisted the “brave” decision to move had been his son’s.
“The decision was his. He is where he dreamed of being. He is in a comfort zone, calm. He listened to the advice of his friends, of those around him and he wanted to face this challenge,” he added.
“I think he has been very brave, he had the right to take this decision.”
Neymar is expected to make a staggering 30 million euros net a season over the course of his five-year contract with the French giants.
However, he denied at this presentation on Friday that money or stepping out of Lionel Messi’s shadow at Barca were reasons for leaving.
And Neymar Sr insisted he never sought to be Messi’s heir to the throne at Barca.
“Everyone said he had to replace him, he didn’t want to replace him,” he added.
“You have to leave Leo alone, he is an idol here. Neymar has to take his own road and accept the challenge he has.
“It wasn’t fair either for Leo or Ney that type of judgement that football and people like to make.”