Albert Soler and Robert Fernández attended the media this afternoon to give their explanation for Barcelona's participation during the transfer window which closed in Spain last night. "We cannot put the club at risk. We already have a magnificent squad", the Director of Sport and Director of Professional Sports concurred. Soler and Robert analyzed in detail, each of the 12 operations which the club handled this summer - including the arrival of four new recruits (Semedo, Paulinho, Dembélé and Deulofeu) and three players sent out on loan.
The club admitted that Paulinho had cost 40 million euros plus add-ons - a figure which Soler then strangely contradicted just a few minutes later.
An inflated transfer market
"The idea of spending 100 million euros on a player just a few years ago would have been madness but it seems that this is the way things are going", Soler explained. "At one time, Barcelona were market leaders but now prices are being dictated by hedge funds. Whole countries are now the principal agents in the market. Everything's changed. We decided not to put the club's economic status and heritage at risk.
"It's reached the stage where one club paid 50 million for a goalkeeper. We're relieved that UEFA are opening investigations. We're not going to enter into a market which is has gone way out of control - Liverpool were asking 200 million euros for Coutinho", Soler continued.
Unaware of Neymar's plans to leave
Soler also touched on Neymar’s departure: "We only found out about it on the day when Neymar announced he was leaving. The rumours started at the end of July when the team was on tour. Neither the president nor myself received any prior information; whoever says we knew about it beforehand is wrong. The player took a decision - the player is the only one who can be held responsible in that instance. We had no idea if he had been planning to leave for some time. There is a WhatsApp message which says that PSG are going to try to sign Neymar dating from 19 July – not in May, or February… which suggests that Neymar made his decision during the US tour".