Eric Abidal, former sports director of FC Barcelona, has revealed that the Catalans were on the verge of bringing back PSG star Neymar in 2019. However, the deal didn’t materialize in the end.
“Ten days before the end of the transfer, I went to Paris with our managing director to talk to Leonardo [PSG-Sportdirektor, Anm. d. Red.] talking about Neymar, “the 41-year-old recalled in an interview with the telegraph: “I think if the CEO comes along, it will only be because we can sign him.”
However, the Brazilian who had left Blaugrana two years earlier for the record transfer of 222 million euros to France did not take place – and that was due, among other things, to another million transfer from Barca. “If we hadn’t signed Antoine Griezmann beforehand, I think we could have brought Neymar back 100 percent. We needed a winger and when Neymar was at Barca he was amazing,” added Abidal.
Griezmann had previously come from league rival Atletico Madrid for 120 million euros, but has not been able to meet expectations since then.
While Abidal campaigned for Neymar to be signed, the Bureau decided on Griezmann. “It’s not about which player is better, it was about what I thought, what we needed in this position at the time. The team needed a real winger,” said Abidal, adding: “The president decided to go with Griezmann commit. “