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Joan Laporta says Neymar is 'enslaved to money' amid Barcelona return rumours

Published on: 26 May 2022

Barcelona president Joan Laporta says Neymar and Lionel Messi will only return to the club later in their careers on free transfers and if they fit into the coach's vision.

Neymar joined Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record fee in 2017, while Barça were unable to extend Messi's contract last summer due to financial constraints before he too joined the French giants.

Laporta told L'Esportiu: "Who doesn't like Ney?"

"He is an exceptional player, but he has [three] years on his contract with PSG. He is effectively enslaved to money.

"The only way he could come back to Barça is for free. It would be irrational to pay a transfer fee for a player you have already had.

"Leo left how he left. We would all have liked him to end his sporting career here, but because of [LaLiga's] fair play rules and because of PSG's offer, it was not to be.

"If he wants to return one day, it would have to be for free. And the technical staff would have to decide if he fits the new project or not."

Listen to Talking Transfers, 90min's weekly transfer podcast. This week, Scott Saunders, Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey discuss Gabriel Jesus' Man City future amid Arsenal interest and how Aston Villa still want Yves Bissouma despite adding Boubacar Kamara to their ranks.

Further off the field, Franck Kessie has confirmed his departure from AC Milan ahead of his expected move to Camp Nou, while a deadline has been set for Ousmane Dembele to agree a new contract with the club.

There is also frustration over talks with Gavi, with Laporta saying "we do not understand why his representative is playing and comparing".

This article was originally published on 90min as Joan Laporta says Neymar is 'enslaved to money' amid Barcelona return rumours.


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