Barcelona transfer news: Story behind Neymar's move, Suarez wants player sold, and more - 5th February 2018
Club vice-president reveals how Neymar's transfer unravelled
The Brazilian joined Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a world-record fee of €222 million in the summer that shook the footballing world. However, the Blaugrana have done well to recuperate from the blow and are now in contention to win every available trophy this season.
Several versions of how and why Neymar departed have been spoken about but for the first time, club vice-president Jordi Mestre revealed what happened behind the scenes before the move materialized. He spoke about how Neymar was not transparent and said:
"What hurt me the most was the way it happened. We were all on tour talking with him and his father, and they were not transparent. If he came to us and said, I want to go, like Cesc, Pedro, Alexis, and Mascherano did, we would have reached an agreement."
“What you can't do is rock the boat. He played cat-and-mouse with us. It arrived at a point where we saw where things were going so we told him we would not pay his contract renewal loyalty fee."
"He told us nothing. If he had done PSG would have been able to buy him for less money and it would have cost us less to sign players too. What Neymar's behaviour created was the market inflation. We would have saved a lot of money and a lot of media noise."
Thus, Neymar's former club themselves did not have any idea whether the 26-year old was staying put and the bad blood between the player and club can be attributed due to the same.
Luis Suarez wants Lucas Digne sold
The Frenchman has struggled to make an impact at Camp Nou after joining from PSG in the summer of 2016. Now, Don Balon reports that Barcelona's no.9 Luis Suarez is fed up of the left-back and wants him sold in the summer.
The Uruguayan is of the opinion that Digne is nowhere near the level of Jordi Alba, the first-choice left-back, and was seen giving an earful to the 24-year old in the La Liga clash against Espanyol on Sunday. Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde removed the full-back on the 75-minute mark to bring on Alba as the La Liga leaders chased a one-goal deficit.
This could prove to be the last straw for Digne at Barcelona as Suarez wants the club to sign a replacement in the summer as per the outlet. However, at 24 years of age, the Frenchman has time on his side to make a good career elsewhere.
Either way, it could prove to be a good deal for all three parties if the player does not improve by the time the World Cup approaches.
Gerard Deulofeu explains Watford loan move
The 23-year old could not make his second stint at the Camp Nou work as he embarked on a loan move to Premier League side Watford for the rest of the season.
While any move to a relegation-threatened team from Barcelona is bound to raise eyebrows, the winger is determined to play and make it count at the Vicarage Road. On the eve of the match against Chelsea, he said:
“I know I am coming from Messi, Suarez and Iniesta, but I am here now. I played also with Everton, with Milan. A lot of dressing rooms in my life. I’m happy to be here, I’m here to help the team and to make Watford better. But I don’t think because I come from Barcelona I am the best player here. That is not my character.”
On further being asked regarding a potential stay beyond the summer, Deulofeu said:
“I don’t know, in the future, anything can happen. At the moment I am here until June, so let’s see and maybe in three or four months I love the football and I love this team. I can’t say anything for sure because it would be fake.”
Thus, Deulofeu's Barcelona career and a World Cup spot with Spain are on the line as he gears up to face the Premier League champions. Meanwhile, the Blaugrana will hope that the La Masia graduate finally turns his career around and comes back as a more rounded player for the upcoming season.