Former Barcelona president Juan Laporta has revealed the Catalans will never ever let go Argentine superstar Lionel Messi, but somehow admits Manchester United’s long target Neymar could leave Barcelona in future.
According to Laporta, Messi is currently the heart of Camp Nou and is deeply embedded in the fabric of Barcelona but says that his Brazilian compatriot could be a mere casualty if Barcelona need to raise funds in future.
Laporta, who was president for Barca between 2003 and 2010, also revealed he rejected many lucrative offers for the 4 time Ballon d’Or winner Messi during his spell at the Catalan club.
‘Messi will never leave Barca. It is part of our emblem and our heart,’ Laporta said.
‘I received many proposals when I was president. Notably Inter, who wanted to pay his release clause but I always refused.’
Though Messi leaving Barcelona is quite impossible, according to the former president it’s a complete different scenario for Neymar.
The 23-year-old Brazilian striker, who left Santos in 2013 for Spanish giants Barcelona, might go for a move if Barcelona’s financial status faces danger, Laporta said.
‘For Neymar, it’s different. The economic situation of the club is not good, but the current president, to balance the books must sell players or assets. And the best solution is to sell a great player.
‘There is talk of a proposal for Man United. But all that, it is because of the mismanagement of the current leadership.‘
Former Barcelona president’s recent comments came after Neymar’s father confirmed last October that Manchester United actually made a bid for his son during the summer transfer window.
“Manchester United’s offer came to Barça and they told us they won’t sell,” Neymar Snr was quoted in Brazilian newspaper Globo.
“They asked if we were interested, but it wasn’t the case. Barcelona does not sell Neymar, because he has a three-year contract.”