- FC Barcelona has denied reports that it used text messages sent by Neymar to recruit another player.
- Spanish newspaper Diario AS reported that Neymar sent WhatsApp messages to FC Barcelona executives pleading them to re-sign him.
- It said the club then used these messages as a marketing tool to recruit a player in the January transfer window.
- AS suggested Barça showed Neymar’s messages to the defensive player Frenkie de Jong, who was also allegedly also wanted by Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
- It suggested the move caused 21-year-old de Jong to picked Barcelona, a club he will join in July.
- Read all of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 European soccer season right here.
FC Barcelona has denied reports that it used text messages from Neymar as a tool to recruit another player.
Spanish daily newspaper Diario AS reported that Neymar begged FC Barcelona to re-sign him via Whatsapp, and said the club used his messages as a recruitment tool in the January transfer window.
Neymar famously left Barça for a world record sum of €222 million ($US260 million) in 2017. He has performed exceptionally well at PSG, and is the most statistically-impressive player in the entire French league according to Whoscored.com data. However, he has struggled to escape the massive shadow that his former teammate Lionel Messi casts across the continent.
At 26 years old, time is on the Brazilian’s side and a recent study by CIES Football Observatory even indicates that he is now a far more valuable player than Messi currently is. Therefore, it was not hard to believe reports by Diario AS that he contacted his former club to beg them to buy him back.
However, a representative for the club told Business Insider the information published by AS is “not true.”
AS reported that Neymar sent WhatsApp messages to Barcelona executives and players, expressing his desire to return to Camp Nou.
It is unclear when these messages were believed to have been sent, and for how long this communication reportedly lasted, but AS claimed that the club used these texts as a marketing tool for a player it wanted to sign.
It suggested the messages were shown to the supremely-talented 21-year-old Frenkie de Jong, who consistently impressed for Ajax in the Eredivisie in the first half of the season.
De Jong, a defensive player by trade, reportedly had a choice to move to Manchester City, PSG, or Barcelona in the mid-season transfer window. However, AS suggested that after seeing Neymar’s messages, he decided to link up with Messi at Camp Nou for an €86 million ($US98.2 million) deal that was completed last week. The player will move to Barcelona in July.
Because of the significance of the deal, and how costly the transfer is to Barça, AS says the club cannot now afford to buy Neymar.
True or not, one thing is clear – Neymar must remain in Paris for now.
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