Barcelona were just €20m away from re-signing Brazilian international Neymar from Paris-Saint Germain in the summer of 2019 according to Javier Bordas, the former Vice President of the Catalan club.
“We offered PSG €110m plus Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele,” Bordas told El Partidazo de la Cadena Cope in quotes carried by Diario Sport.
“PSG wanted €130m plus Todibo, Rakitic and Dembele, so Neymar was €20m away from coming back. In the end it couldn’t be done.”
Neymar has spent the majority of his professional career in Spain with Barcelona, where he formed part of the lethal MSN strike force alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
He joined the Catalans in 2013 from Santos and won two La Liga titles, three Copa del Reys, one Spanish Super Cup, one Club World Cup and one Champions League at Camp Nou before joining PSG in a record €200m deal in 2017.
Bordas also revealed that Barcelona tried to sign Kylian Mbappe two years previously, the same summer Neymar joined PSG. “We tried to bring Mbappe and Dembele together,” he said. “Mbappe was excited to come to Barca when Neymar left.”
Mbappe is one of if not the hottest prospect in global football, and despite being just 21 possesses a frighteningly prolific record of 124 goals in 193 club appearances as well as 16 goals from 38 French caps. He won the 2018 World Cup with his country at 19.
Bordas also commented on Lionel Messi’s future. “His continuity depends on how he sees the team,” he said. “If he sees it as capable of winning, he’ll stay.”
Messi, despite evidently slowing down as he begins to enter his mid-30s, registered 31 goals and 27 assists last season, from 44 appearances. The season before he scored 51 goals and contributed 20 assists from 50 games.