Barcelona should have released Lionel Messi this summer to ease their financial troubles, the club’s acting president Carles Tusquets said.
The Argentinian star announced in August that he wanted to leave Barça, his team since 2001, but had to make a turnaround when the Catalan giants demanded his € 700 million buyout clause instead of negotiating his departure.
Messi will become a freelancer this summer and clubs will be able to approach him from January.
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When asked if Messi would have been released in the summer if the management committee of the club he chairs had been in charge, Tusquets told Catalan radio RAC1: “From a financial point of view, yes. But that was something that should have been done. strongly agree with the technical staff. From an economic point of view it would have been desirable to sell Messi. “
Tusquets added that Messi’s release, including the transfer fee and money saved in wages, would have helped as “La Liga is demanding salary caps.”
Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down as president of Barcelona on October 27 and presidential elections are scheduled for January 24. Tusquets, meanwhile, spoke of the possibility of Neymar returning to the club.
Neymar ESPN told Argentina Wednesday of his desire to play next to Messi next season.
“If he comes as a free agent, we might consider it,” Tusquets said. “If not, there is no money [for a transfer] unless there’s a new president holding a miracle in his hand. When we sell [players] and the coaching staff agrees, why not? “
Tusquets said the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated Barca’s “worrying” financial situation.
“It’s awful, but there is hope. Once the stadium reopens, everything will change,” said Tusquets.