Barcelona was so eager to re-sign Neymar that Paris Saint-Germain had to gift his father €20 million to prevent his transfer.
Prior to Lionel Messi’s move to PSG, the narrative was that Barcelona was looking to bring Neymar back.
The Catalans have been trying their luck since 2017 and Joan Laporta spearheaded another attempt to raid Neymar from PSG this summer after being re-elected as Barcelona president, Spanish outlet Sport reported.
According to the report, negotiations were already progressing and Laporta had even sent “two people” to Paris to help close the deal.
Neymar, on the other hand, was also “desperate” to rejoin Barcelona
However, “everything broke down” after one PSG high-up “deposited €20 million” to Neymar’s father’s bank account.
Though it is said that the money was from PSG, the report further noted that it “didn’t come from the club’s official accounts.”
Recently lifting the lid on the botched Neymar transfer, Laporta confirmed that there was indeed a strong mutual interest between both parties at the time.
“Yes, we tried because at the time, in some conversations, it seemed interesting,” Laporta told Onze via Barca Blaugranes. “Neymar was crazy to come back to Barca in March. He got in touch with us, he wanted to come.”
As it stands, Neymar still ended up reuniting with Messi at PSG.
Barcelona, meanwhile, is already moving on from Messi’s departure. In fact, the Argentine’s iconic No. 10 shirt has already been passed on to Ansu Fati, one of the club’s most promising youngsters.