Two decades of world record transfers in pictures as Neymar inches closer to PSG move

Neymar’s proposed world record move to Paris St Germain was held up on Thursday as LaLiga officials turned away the delegation sent to meet his eye-watering buy-out clause.

The striker’s club, Barcelona, said they would only allow the 25-year-old Brazil international to make the move to Paris if his release fee of €222 million/£198.5 million) was met and paid in full.

That did not stop PSG in their tracks and lawyers acting on behalf of the player were sent to LaLiga headquarters in Madrid to pay the money, only for them to be snubbed.

However, here, we look at the previous players to have broken the transfer record in the past two decades.

ALAN SHEARER – 1996: £15 million (BLACKBURN TO NEWCASTLE)

Having won the Premier League at Blackburn in 1995, all-time Premier League record goalscorer Shearer returned to his hometown club a hero.

RONALDO – 1997: £19.5 million (BARCELONA TO INTER MILAN)

The Brazil striker moved on to break the record for the second time in a year but, despite a great scoring ratio, he only won the UEFA Cup during his spell at the San Siro.

DENILSON – 1998: £21.5 million (SAO PAULO TO REAL BETIS)

A precocious talent in Brazil, Denilson never made the desired impact after his record move and struggled to hold down a place at Betis before moving on.

CHRISTIAN VIERI – 1999: £32 million (LAZIO TO INTER MILAN)

Eight clubs in as many seasons eventually led Vieri to Inter, where they broke the transfer record once again and he would form a formidable partnership with Ronaldo.

HERNAN CRESPO – 2000: £35.5 million (PARMA TO LAZIO)

A year later, Lazio replaced Vieri with Crespo and he ended his first season with the club as Serie A’s top goalscorer.

LUIS FIGO – 2000: £37 million (BARCELONA TO REAL MADRID)

The era of the Galacticos truly began with the acrimonious transfer of Portugal winger Figo between the Clasico rivals.

ZINEDINE ZIDANE – 2001: £46.6 million (JUVENTUS TO REAL MADRID)

Madrid continued to build their team of superstars by adding France international Zidane from Juventus – where he went on to becoming a Champions League-winning player and coach at the Bernabeu.

KAKA – 2009: £56 million (AC MILAN TO REAL MADRID)

Breaking their own record once again, Kaka’s move from Italy was not as successful as Madrid would have hoped but he still lifted a LaLiga title before returning to Milan in 2013.

CRISTIANO RONALDO – 2009: £80 million (MANCHESTER UNITED to REAL MADRID)

Having coveted Ronaldo for a couple of years, Madrid upped their record significantly to land the 2008 Ballon d’Or winner – and the Portuguese went from strength to strength in Spain.

GARETH BALE – 2013: £86 million (TOTTENHAM TO REAL MADRID)

A fifth-straight record broken by Madrid as they returned to England to poach the Premier League’s hottest talent – this time taking Wales international Bale to Spain, where he would later flourish.

PAUL POGBA – 2016: £89 million (JUVENTUS TO MANCHESTER UNITED)

Having left Old Trafford four years earlier for a nominal amount, France midfielder Pogba returned as the new world-record signing.

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French league urges La Liga not to block Neymar's move to PSG

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Neymar.

The French league on Thursday stepped into the Neymar transfer affair, calling on their Spanish counterparts not to block the Brazilian’s move to Paris Saint-Germain.

The LFP issued a strongly worded statement hours after La Liga refused to accept a cheque presented by Neymar’s advisors for €222 million ($260 million) to pay his buyout clause with Barcelona.

The French body urged the Spanish league “to stick to FIFA’s rules and its responsibilities”.

“The LFP is astonished and does not understand La Liga’s refusal to simply accept payment of the release clause,” a statement read.

It added that the LFP has put its legal team at PSG’s disposal to resolve the issue “in order that Neymar’s contract can be resolved with the minimum delay.

“The LFP supports Paris Saint-Germain and wishes Neymar’s arrival in the Ligue 1 championship.”

Earlier, a La liga spokesperson told AFP: “We can confirm that the legal representatives of the player attended La Liga to pay the clause and this has been rejected.”

La Liga president Javier Tebas has been an outspoken critic of PSG’s move to snatch one of the Spanish league’s biggest stars.

Tebas believes the astronomical sums being spent by the French giants, including a reported €30 million salary after tax for Neymar, makes it impossible for them to comply with financial fair play regulations (FFP).

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Suarez joins Messi in posting heartfelt message to Neymar ahead of his move to PSG

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Suarez with teammate Neymar.

Barcelona star Luis Suarez has urged teammate Neymar to “never change” after posting an emotional message on his Instagram account.

The Uruguayan was a vital cog in the lethal front three with the Brazilian and Lionel Messi in three seasons at the Camp Nou.

He said: “My friend I wish you the best in everything that comes!!!

“Also thank you for your support, for everything that I learned from you and for the unique moments that we spent together!

“Keep like this and never change. Love you little bro.”

Neymar is expected to arrive in Paris on Friday to finalise his world record €222 million move to PSG, which will earn him around €30 million ($35.5 million) a year.

PSG’s opening game of the Ligue 1 season is this weekend against Amiens with the 25-year-old set to be announced as a new signing over the weekend.

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