Barcelona stars were willing to take pay CUT to get Neymar back this summer, confirms Pique


GERARD PIQUE claims Barcelona stars were ready to accept a pay cut to help the club re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazilian forward, 28, made a desperate push to return to the Nou Camp last summer, just two years after he quit for Paris in a world-record £200million deal.

 Barcelona players offered to take a wage cut to help the club re-sign Neymar from PSG

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Barcelona players offered to take a wage cut to help the club re-sign Neymar from PSGCredit: AFP

Barcelona were eager to strike a deal despite signing Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for £107m.

While PSG were open to selling for the right price after injuries limited Neymar to just 17 league appearances last season.

However, Barcelona could not find the money to fund a permanent transfer, with no buyers coming forward for now-Bayern Munich loanee Philippe Coutinho or Ousmane Dembele.

And Pique has revealed he and others were ready to have their wages deferred in order for Barca to free up enough cash for Neymar, while also avoiding Financial Fair Play sanctions.

Pique told El Larguero: “Neymar back to Barcelona? In football, anything can happen.

“We already told him (in 2017): you’re going to a golden prison. The doors are open for him (to return).

“What’s been said, that he wants to return to Barcelona, yes (it’s true).

“We told (president Josep Maria) Bartomeu that if payments were deferred on contracts to adjust to FFP in order for Neymar to join, we’d do it.”

Neymar has scored 55 goals in 63 matches for PSG, winning two Ligue 1 titles, one French Cup, one League Cup and one Champions Trophy in the process.

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However, he was snubbed for this year’s Ballon d’Or nominations.

And former teammate Dani Alves has warned Neymar he needs to grow up.

Neymar is also having a number of personal problems off the field.

His sister Rafella Santos is dating Brazil teammate Gabriel Barbosa, aka Gabigol.

While Neymar found himself locked out of his supercar during a “chilly” evening in Paris, only for it to later emerge that the battery in his keys were running low.

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