The president finally opens up on 'operation Neymar'
- Bartomeu has agreed to an exclusive interview to BarcaTV.
- The president revealed the club negotiated with PSG over Neymar.
- However, the Catalans couldn't meet the Ligue 1 club's demands.
- The Brazilian doesn't enter the club's plans for January but could be bought later.
- Bartomeu also reveals it wasn't the players who asked for Neymar.
- Instead, Abidal, Planes and Valverde wanted him back.
"Yes, we negotiated with PSG for Neymar. They opened the door for Neymar and we then started negotiations to see if we could integrate him. In the end, we couldn't meet PSG's demands," said club president Josep Maria Bartomeu in his exclusive interview to BarcaTV.
"Neymar does not enter our plans for in January.
"Neymar told PSG only to negotiate with Barca. He did what he had to do, but in the end he and PSG have decided for the player to continue in Paris. He wanted to leave, but this year he will play at PSG.
"Without exchange of players, the offer was to loan Neymar for a year with a mandatory buy option at the end of the season.
"I can't rule out that we sign Neymar in the future if there is a possibility but we haven't started planning for next summer. There were 3 or 4 clubs interested in Neymar and one of them was Real Madrid.
"The dressing room have no say in signings, they don't think about it. We make decisions for signings in the sports area.
"Negotiations for Neymar were not planned beforehand. Leonardo opened the door to negotiate for him. We then joined negotiations, among other clubs.
"Messi has not asked for Neymar. Neymar was a market opportunity, an extra, but to go for him was a decision of the sports area of the club. We said: 'Let's try it'."
Moreover, according to Bartomeu, it was the board and the technical staff who insisted on the player, not the dressing room, as various rumours suggest. Ernesto Valverde, Eric Abidal and Carles Planas were among those who wanted the 27-year-old back at the club.
The president also insists the Catalans didn't offer players in exchange. Quite the contrary, it was the Parisians who started asking for players. Blaugrana decided to end the negotiations when PSG's demands became too high.
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