Barcelona’s interim president admits selling Messi would have been helpful

Barcelona’s interim president admits selling Messi would have been helpful

Barcelona’s interim president, Carlos Tusquets, feels the club should have cashed in on Lionel Messi during the summer transfer window.

Messi was heavily linked with a move to Manchester City and sent a recorded delivery (burofax) letter stating his intention to leave. He later said the decision was due to being disillusioned with the direction in which the now former board had taken the club.

Josep Maria Bartomeu resigned as president in October rather than face a vote of no confidence, with Tusquets taking temporary charge until elections in January.

“Economically speaking, I would’ve sold Messi in the summer window,” Tusquets told the RAC1 radio station. “Both in terms of what you save on the wage bill as well as the money you make, it would’ve been desirable. But this is something the coaching staff have to consent to and that’s not my place.

“La Liga are setting salary limits at the moment and this would’ve helped on that front.”

Messi’s contract expires in June, when he is expected to leave for free, and on Wednesday his former Barcelona teammate Neymar spoke of his desire to link up with the Argentinian again.

“What I want most of all is to play with Messi again, to be able to enjoy him once again on the pitch,” he said after his club Paris Saint-Germain’s 3-1 Champions League win at Manchester United. “I want to play with him next year, for sure. We have to do it next season.”

Tusquets conceded that scenario was unlikely to transpire at the Camp Nou, where the purse strings have been tightened amid the Covid-19 crisis.

“If he [Neymar] became available on a free transfer then maybe we could think about signing him,” he said. “Without making sales, there’s no money for new signings unless the new president has incredibly deep pockets.”