Barcelona (AP) - FC Barcelona have never planned on superstar Neymar's commitment, but club boss Josep Maria Bartomeu said a possible transfer failed due to Paris Saint-Germain's too high demands.
"The deal did not work because we could not meet PSG's demands," Bartomeu said on the club's TV channel. "Barca had already planned his team, but the opportunity to sign up to Neymar came from the market," the president said. At the beginning of the new year, we will talk again about this topic.
Bartomeu confirmed at the same time media reports that Lionel Messi can leave the Spanish champion free transfer. "Leo Messi has a contract until 2020/21, but the player may leave Barca before the end of his final season." However, the Catalans want to hold their key player until 2021 and beyond. "We're very relaxed," Bartomeu assured.
Although the Treaty of the Argentine, a replacement of € 700 million was written down, Messi had by clause the right to terminate his contract unilaterally at June 30, 2020, previously had the newspaper "El País" and other media, citing the club reported. The 32-year-old's contract was extended in 2017 until June 30, 2021.
The Catalan newspaper El Periódico wrote Friday that Messi has no plans to leave Barça. The team-mate of national goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen but insisted on the clause to be able to exercise influence on the purchasing policy. Messi has been part of the professional team of FC Barcelona since 2004 and is therefore the most senior player of the club.
Although the Catalans have won seven Primera División titles in the last ten years, the last triumph in the Champions League is four years back. In the current season, the Blaugrana occupy only eighth place with four points from three games.
Bartomeu interview on Barca TV