‘Barcelona Could Have Kept Messi If They Hadn’t Signed Aguero And Depay,’- President Of La Liga

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Barcelona could have kept Argentine star Lionel Messi if they hadn’t signed Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

Messi, 34, joined Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer because Barcelona, which has a total debt of about €1.4 billion, couldn’t afford to keep him.

Barca president Joan Laporta said in August that if the club had agreed to LaLiga’s proposal to sell 10% of its company to CVC Capital Partners, they could have kept Messi.

Barca would have received roughly €270 million from the deal, but they refused to sign it since it would have mortgaged the club’s future, according to Laporta.

“I had dinner at Laporta’s house and he agreed to sign the CVC agreement,” Tebas, who believes Real Madrid president Florentino Perez forced Barca to pull out of the deal, told Cope.

“I didn’t know if Messi could renew because of that, but later I got a call [from Laporta]. ‘Can we accelerate the CVC deal? The kid [Messi] is getting nervous,’ he said.

“I told him: ‘The day it comes out, Florentino is going to try and burst it.’ And Laporta told me: ‘No, no, I have character.’ Florentino’s behind it all, I have no doubt.

“There was an agreement that if [Barca] signed the CVC deal, they could have put 15% of the money towards signing players. In my opinion, they could have signed Messi.

“Laporta signed players like Memphis, Aguero… if he didn’t sign those players, Messi could continue.”

Barcelona, along with Real Madrid and Athletic Bilbao, declined to sign the CVC contract. The plan was accepted by the other 17 top-flight clubs in Spain, who were rewarded with an immediate cash influx.

source : complete sport

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