Neymar became the most expensive player in history that summer when PSG triggered what was previously thought to have been a prohibitive €222m buyout clause. Barcelona were left fuming, but were powerless to stop it from happening as soon as personal terms were accepted.
More than two years later, the bad blood is still bubbling away just beneath the surface. That is despite a transfer saga during the summer of a potential return for Neymar to Barça.
But where that deal failed after the reigning La Liga champions were unable to present an acceptable offer – there are some theories that the whole thing was a charade as Barça knew early on it would never be possible – any future reunion now looks even more unlikely.
El Mundo reports that Neymar has filed a lawsuit against his old team in order to chase what he claims is €3.5m in unpaid salary that was owed but withheld when he joined PSG.
The complaint is said to accuse Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu of acting in ‘absolute bad faith’ and of applying ‘reprisals’ against the player for choosing to leave.
Neymar and Barcelona have already been embroiled in one legal battle of lawsuits and counter-suits. The club previously sued the player to the value of €75m for failing to honour his contract, while the player sued the club for €26m over partial non-payment of a contracted bonus.
Neymar appeared to have burned his bridges in France during the summer when he made little secret of his desire to leave. But the 27-year-old has since made a point of insisting he is happy to remain in Paris as he looks to win over fans that booed him at the start of the season.