They weren’t exactly looking between the sofa cushions for additional money to sign Neymar Jr. last summer but FC Barcelona definitely considered alternative methods to come up with the money to sign the Brazil international from Paris Saint-Germain.
In a radio interview with El Larguero (via Diario AS), Gerard Piqué—author of the famous “Se Queda” Instagram post with Neymar before he ultimately left for PSG—is talking about his former teammate again after already admitting the Barcelona locker room was worried about Neymar signing for rivals Real Madrid.
“We didn’t stump up money,” Piqué said. “What we said to the president was whether we could change our contracts because we knew there was a Financial Fair Play issue…so we said to the president, rather than earn something in year one, we could earn it in year two or three or four.”
“At the end of the day we want to go along with what the club is doing and if we can help the club, in this case avoiding a financial fair problem, we’ve got no problem in doing that. Rather than reducing our salary, it was about finding a formula so that if the club wanted to sign Ney they could. At the time they thought it was a good idea, but then other problems cropped up.”
My favorite quote, though, comes from when the 32-year-old defender is asked if it’s possible Neymar could return to Barcelona.
“In football, anything can happen and every year just makes that clearer,” Piqué said. “We told Neymar, ‘you’re going to a golden prison.”
That “golden prison” can’t be that bad considering Thomas Meunier and Edinson Cavani are both desperate for a contract extension and Marco Verratti just signed one with Marquinhos and Juan Bernat likely to be the next ones to put pen to paper and commit to PSG long-term.
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