Barcelona, Spain: A Spanish court will begin hearing a lawsuit by Barcelona against Neymar over his contract extension bonus on September 27 instead of later this week as originally planned, judicial authorities said Monday.
Barcelona sued Neymar for breach of contract after the 27-year-old transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record 222 million euros ($249 million) in 2017, less than a year after he signed a new five-year deal with the Catalan giants.
The club is demanding 8.5 million euros in damages and interest, and has refused to pay Neymar 26 million euros which were part of a bonus related to his contract renewal.
The 27-year-old Brazilian in turn responded by filing a lawsuit against Barcelona before FIFA over the the payment of this part of the bonus. FIFA last year shelved the lawsuit.
A Barcelona labour court had been scheduled to start hearing the catalan club's lawsuit on Thursday but it postponed the start of the hearings until September 27, Catalonia's Superior Court of Justice said in a statement.
While the court has given few details about the case, Spanish media had speculated that Neymar as well as Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al-Khelaifi would attend the proceedings.
Last week Spanish daily newspaper El Mundo reported that Spain's tax authorities are investigating the bonus Neymar earned when he extended his Barcelona with contract.
Neymar was a tax resident in Spain in 2017 and Spanish tax officials are looking into whether the Brazilian paid tax related to the bonus and his record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, the newspaper said.
Neymar's public relations agency, NR Sports, responded to the report, saying in a statement that Spanish tax authorities have only requested documents and information relating to the already opened lawsuit and insisting that Neymar is not the subject of a new tax investigation in Spain.