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BARCELONA

Gaspart: "There was a 'but' after every statement Messi made"

The former president said as a matter of dignity, Barcelona could not bring Neymar back for the asking price and says Messi was sending out warnings.

Messi
REUTERS

Joan Gaspart analysed the Lionel Messi interview in Sport on Thursday with 'El Larguero' and touched on the Neymar debacle and the Argentine's release clause.

"Iniesta and Xavi had things like this in their contracts, it's nothing new," he said about Messi's interview. "What Messi has is part of the philosophy of Barça. I know him well and I don't think his words were a challenge to the club because it's not his style. After every statement came a 'but' and while the club might understand them as irrelevant, I think they are warnings that he doesn't like how the club is going."

"I know that Barcelona and the president tried to sign Neymar but PSG asked for €300 million and while Neymar is an exceptional player, as a mtter of dignity, they couldn't do it," he says of the struggle to sign Neymar that ended with Barça pulling out of negotiations and PSG rejecting their offers. "Barcelona did well trying to sign him."

Who wouldn't you sign, he was asked. "The only one I would never go to sign is Luis Figo. He was provoking them to throw things at him," he says of taking a corner during his first Clásico back at the Camp Nou when a pig's head found its way onto the field.