La Liga president Javier Tebas has claimed that Barcelona could have kept hold of Lionel Messi if they had not signed Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay in the summer transfer window.
Tebas says Barcelona president Joan Laporta was very keen to sign the CVC deal, which would have reportedly been worth around €270 million to Barca, and believes he pulled out because of pressure from Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez.
Here’s Tebas’s side of the story:
“I had dinner at Laporta’s house and he agreed to sign the CVC agreement,” he 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.’
“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.”
Source | Cope
Laporta had said all summer the was optimistic he could keep hold of Messi and claimed several times “everything was on track” until suddenly it really wasn’t.
The club ended up releasing a statement insisting Messi’s departure was “because of Spanish LaLiga regulations on player registration” and off the GOAT went to PSG after a tearful farewell.
The Barcelona president has previously explained he did not want to sign the CVC deal because he was not ready to accept “mortgaging the club’s television rights for the next 50 years.”