Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed the signing of Neymar from Barcelona in a £198million deal that has smashed the transfer world record.
Speculation had been rife over Neymar’s proposed move to the Ligue 1 club and – just hours after the player’s release clause at Barca was triggered – PSG confirmed the deal.
The 25-year-old leaves behind a star-studded Barcelona side, but said in a statement that he is delighted with his move to Paris:
" I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain. Since I arrived in Europe, the club has always been one of the most competitive and most ambitious. And the biggest challenge, what most motivated me to join my new teammates, is to help the club to conquer the titles that their fans want. "
The transfer will make Neymar one of the highest earning footballers in the world, with an annual salary of £26.8m.
The money involved is eye-watering, but the Brazil international has pointed to different motivations behind his move:
" Paris Saint-Germain’s ambition attracted me to the club, along with the passion and the energy this brings. I played 4 seasons in Europe and I feel ready to take the challenge. From today, I will do everything I can to help my new teamates, to open up new horizons for my club and to bring happiness to its millions of supporters around the world."
The cost of PSG's purchase dwarfs the previous world transfer record, set by Manchester United when they bought Paul Pogba last summer.
The signing is a huge statement of intent by PSG, coming after the club missed out on the Ligue 1 title to Monaco last season.
And club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says the addition of Neymar moves PSG close to "realising our greatest dreams".
"It is with immense joy and pride that we welcome Neymar Jr to Paris Saint-Germain," Al-Khelaifi said. "Neymar Jr is today one of the very best players in world football. His winning mentality, strength of character and sense of leadership have made him into a great player. He will bring a very positive energy to this club.
"In six years, we have built a very ambitious project that has already taken us to the highest level of national and European football. Today, with the arrival of Neymar Jr, I am convinced that we will come even closer, with the support of our faithful fans, to realising our greatest dreams."