La Liga president says ‘Messi could have continued if Barcelona didn’t make two signings’
Speaking in a recent interview, as relayed by SPORT, La Liga president Javier Tebas has sensationally claimed that Barcelona would have been able to keep ahold of superstar Lionel Messi in the summer had they not signed Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero.
Messi brought an end to his long and successful association with Barcelona to an end earlier this year, as he left for Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer after it emerged that the club were in no position to extend his contract while conforming to La Liga’s Financial Fair Play rules.
Barcelona did go on to make five major signings in the summer in the form of Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, Emerson Royal, and Luuk de Jong. But the Catalans were not even in a position to register their new signings due to the salary issues and needed their captains to take wage cuts in order to enable their registration.
Amidst all this, Tebas has tried to stir up a new storm claiming that Barcelona could have retained Messi had they not signed Depay and Aguero.
The La Liga president also claims that Barca president Joan Laporta was keen on the CVC deal to go through, as that would have allowed the club to keep Messi, but blamed Real Madrid supremo Florentino Perez for pressuring him into backing out of the deal.
“I had dinner in July at Laporta’s house and he agreed to sign the CVC. Then I received a call from him saying ‘Can we speed it up? Messi gets nervous’. I told Laporta that Florentino would try to blow him up and he told me that he had personality,” he said.
“There was an agreement that those who entered the CVC agreement could allocate 15% of the amount to player signings. He could have signed Messi. Laporta signed players like Depay, Agüero … if he had not signed those players Messi could continue.”
Laporta has previously explained that he did not intend to sign the CVC deal at any point. But Tebas’ claims, if true, indicate otherwise. As for the possibility of Messi having stayed if Depay and Aguero were not signed, it all seems just conjecture at this point.