Neymar and Messi met again at PSG, but this could have happened in the Barcelona. At least that’s what the president of the Catalan club, Joan Laporta, says. In an interview this Monday to “Esport3” channel, the manager admitted that he tried to hire the Brazilian striker in the last transfer window. But that was before I knew that LaLiga’s salary limit would make big hires unfeasible.
“Yes, we tried (to hire) because at the time, in some conversations, it seemed interesting. Neymar wanted to come. He got in touch with us, he wanted to come anyway”, stated Laporta.
– We interpreted the Financial Fair Play in a different way, if we knew that Messi could not be registered, we would not have even tried (to hire Neymar) – clarified the president of Barcelona.
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Neymar and Messi are together again, but at PSG — Photo: REUTERS
Neymar was close to returning to Barça before the 2019/20 season and admitted that this was his will. However, the Brazilian has changed his stance since then. In May of this year, renewed the link with PSG until 2025.
The financial crisis that caused a stampede in the club happens, especially, with the salary limit imposed by LaLiga, entity that organizes the Spanish Championship. Barça has seen its ceiling reduce by more than 50% in recent years and this has led to the departure of Lionel Messi and 11 other athletes.
In addition, the captains Busquets, Alba and pique reduced their salaries so that players signed for the current season could be signed up. Laporta commented on the imbroglio that led to Messi’s departure and reiterated that the player’s permanence would only be possible if the manager approved the Spanish league agreement with CVC investment fund, which did not occur.
– We were pressured to sign the loan with CVC, or there would be no Fiar Play. There was no room for anything else. There was a pre-agreement and we shook hands (Barcelona and Messi). There were several deals, and LaLiga seemed to accept them, but then they said no if there was no CVC. We didn’t see that it would improve and we ended the situation – he evaluated.
Laporta also commented on how it was to face Lionel Messi with the shirt of another club.
– I didn’t talk to Messi again. I saw his debut on PSG and it was strange to see him in another team, a rival… I didn’t like to see him with another shirt.
In the interview, the manager also spoke about the departure of Griezmann. After two years, the French striker, signed for 120 million euros from Atlético de Madrid, was loaned for two seasons to the former club. Laporta said that the player did not fit in Barça.
– I’ve never seen him with an attitude that could be criticized. He’s a great player. He just didn’t fit into our system, but he always had a great attitude. From a football point of view, he was not the player we needed. Could have given more – declared Laporta.
The president of the Catalan team also revealed that the agreement with Atlético provides for the mandatory purchase by Colchonero if Griezmann plays in 50% of the matches during the term of the loan agreement.