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Barcelona Could Break 'Unspoken Agreement' And Use Article 17 To Sign Neymar

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Barcelona Could Break 'Unspoken Agreement' And Use Article 17 To Sign Neymar

Barcelona are looking at a way of signing Neymar for nothing by going against the 'unspoken agreement' between clubs and invoking FIFA's Article 17.

The Spanish side were desperate to bring Neymar back from PSG last summer, and he wanted to move, but the finances weren't right and they instead signed Antoine Griezmann.

According to ESPN the Catalan giants will try and negotiate with the French club but if they won't budge then Barca will invoke Article 17 in FIFA's transfer regulations.

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The rule allows players who have been under contract for three years or more to cancel their contract 'without just cause' but hasn't been used for over 10 years because of an 'unspoken agreement' between clubs.

Could Neymar move back to Barcelona? Image: PA Images
Could Neymar move back to Barcelona? Image: PA Images

For Article 17 to be invoked a player has to be moving to a club in another country but clubs generally don't use it to keep the peace between them.

The rule was drawn up in 2001 because players' 'freedom of movement' was compromised compared to others workers and the European Commission threatened to get rid of the transfer system.

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The last high profile case of Article 17 being invoked was in 2006 when Andy Webster chose to cancel his contract with Hearts in order to join then Premier League side Wigan Athletic.

Andy Webster, right, playing for Wigan. Image: PA Images
Andy Webster, right, playing for Wigan. Image: PA Images

Webster cancelled his contract with the Scottish club and moved south of the border. Hearts complained to FIFA that they weren't given 'sufficient notice,' another clause in the law, and the centre back was given a two match ban.

FIFA also fined him £625,000, which the player had to pay his previous club, but the fine was reduced by the Court for Arbitration of Sport to just £150,000.

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Whilst clubs tend to stay away from using the 'loophole' Barca were known to be annoyed at how PSG signed the Brazilian, paying the 28-year-olds' £198 million release clause without negotiating with the La Liga side.

Lionel Messi has been at the forefront of getting the Spanish champions to re-sign his former teammate and the club really want to make the move happen, after several failed attempts to re-energise their strike force.

The club will try to negotiate with the French champions first but if all else fails then it would be an incredibly cheeky move from Barca to sign Neymar for nothing.

Topics: Football News, Paris Saint-Germain, Football, PSG, Neymar, Lionel Messi

Ryan Sidle
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