Barcelona were £18million away from re-signing Neymar in 2019, former director Javier Bordas has revealed.
Neymar left the Nou Camp in 2017 with Paris Saint-Germain smashing the transfer record to complete a £220m deal, but the Brazilian has been heavily linked with a return to his former club.
A move back to the Catalans has so far failed to materialise but ex-Barca director Bordas claimed a deal was close last year, with the club offering £100m plus Ivan Rakitic, Ousmane Dembele and Jean-Clair Todibo in exchange.
‘We offered PSG €110m (£98.5m) plus Todibo, Rakitic and the loan of Dembele,’ Bordas told Spanish radio station Cadena Cope.
‘PSG wanted €130m (£116.5m) plus Todibo, Rakitic and Dembele on loan.
‘Neymar was €20m (£17.93m) away from coming back. Neymar’s father said that he would make up the difference but in the end that didn’t happen.’
Bordas also revealed that Barca tried to sign Kylian Mbappe in the summer of 2017.
‘We tried to bring in Mbappe and Dembele together. Mbappe was excited at the prospect of coming to Barca when Neymar left.’
PSG sporting director Leonardo revealed last week that Neymar has started negotiations with the club over a new contract.
The striker helped the club reach the Champions League last season and scored 19 goals in 27 games across all competitions.
A move back to Barca looks slim given the LaLiga side’s current financial struggles as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The club yet to reach an agreement with players over pay cuts. Players took a 70 per cent salary reduction in March but the club are looking slash wages by 30 per cent to stave off fears of bankruptcy.