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Barca president addresses Neymar's failed move

Transfer: Barcelona president gives fresh update on potential Neymar arrival in January

September 6, 2019 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Catalan club's chief has provided fresh insight on the Brazilian's purported imminent switch.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has downplayed claims that his club will be making a move for Neymar Jr in the winter transfer window. The 56-year-old insisted that the 27-year-old Brazil forward will remain at Paris Saint-Germain for the duration of the season while slamming claims that Lionel Messi asked for the winger's signing. 

Neymar was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona until the very last day of the transfer window but the much anticipated return to Camp Nou never came to pass with his former club and Les Parisians failing to reach an agreement. As a result, the wantaway winger is expected to remain with the Parc des Princes outfit for the reminder of the season, having missed the first four games due to the uncertainty about his future.

Recent speculations that emerged from Spain suggested that Barcelona could once more test the waters for Neymar in January. However, the club's president Josep Maria Bartomeu has moved to debunk the claims despite openly acknowledging that his side fought hard to recruit the Brazilian this summer.

"Neymar can't join Barca in January, and the Barca dressing room doesn't decide anything," he told Barca TV on Friday.

"We did everything possible to sign Neymar. We didn't offer any specific player in exchange. We did talk about exchanges but all the names were given by PSG.

"Without an exchange of players, the offer was to loan Neymar for a year with a mandatory purchase option at the end of the season.

"I know other clubs were also negotiating with PSG. At one point during the negotiations, Neymar asked PSG to only negotiate with Barca. He decided only to join Barca.

"Neymar did what he had to do, he told his club about his decision, he did everything possible, but this year he will play at PSG."

Bartomeu subsequently rebuffed claims that Lionel Messi specifically asked for the signing of Neymar and neither did the dressing room rise against Griezmann's acquisition.

"Messi didn't ask me to sign Neymar," he added.

"It was an opportunity in the market because he is a great player, and the board agreed to see what we could do to bring him back.

"The dressing room does not have a say on transfers, and they did not veto Griezmann."

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