Barcelona president explained why Neymar deal collapsed

    Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has briefly recapped the club’s policy in the recently finished transfer window

    The reigning La Liga holders were active in the market this summer, in terms of both, selling and buying.

    Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jeison Murillo left the Camp Nou to return to their parent clubs after their loans ended, while Philippe Coutinho and Rafinha Alcantara joined Bayern Munich and Celta Vigo respectively, on a season-long loan.

    The Catalans also managed to offload two of their outcasts, Malcom and Denis Suarez, as well as, the second-choice goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.

    Meanwhile, they secured the services of the Brazilian goalkeeper, Neto, from Valencia and the left-back, Junior Firpo, from Real Betis. But, the two high-profile acquisitions are the highly-rated midfielder Frenkie de Jong and the now-former Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann.

    But, the one thing the Blaugrana had failed to do this summer was capturing the signature of their ex-star Neymar, currently on the Paris Saint-Germain books.

    Although they’ve been fighting tooth and nail to bring the prodigal son back home throughout the last month of the transfer window, Barca have struggled to convince PSG to renounce their wantaway forward.

    Speaking to the club’s official TV channel, Josep Maria Bartomeu has explained what was the club’s plan for this summer.

    “The planning was done a while ago, and we made the signings that we had planned: A midfielder, a forward and a defender, plus moving Wague up from Barça B and changing goalkeepers as Cillessen wanted to leave,” Barcelona chief said.

    “This squad is more competitive than last season’s. It’s a small squad, but very competitive. Ernesto Valverde accepts the level of demand, and I am expecting a lot from this season.”

    “De Ligt was one of our targets, but he decided not to come to Barça.

    “The dressing room did not reject us signing Griezmann. The players don’t give their opinions on signings; it is the technical team who decide.

    “I’m happy because players such as Riqui Puig, Carles Pérez and Ansu Fati, among others, are adapting to the first team dynamic. I like that the coach is incorporating them. They have to learn from the best.”

    Bartomeu has also revealed that Barcelona had only tried to take advantage of Neymar’s desire to leave Paris, insisting he was not part of their plans at the beginning of summer.

    “Barça had already planned their squad, but the opportunity to sign Neymar was one that came up in the market. His signing was an extra; it wasn’t planned.

    “Barça never offered our players. It was PSG who asked for them in the negotiations.

    “The deal didn’t go through because the Club could not meet PSG’s demands.”

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