Former Barcelona president Joan Laporta believes the Spanish club may be forced into selling Neymar in order to be financially stable.
The Brazilian striker was linked with a move to Manchester United over the summer, with reports even going as far as suggesting that the Reds had tabled a bid for the player.
However, Neymar more recently said himself that he is looking to renew his contract at the Nou Camp, quashing hopes he could make the switch to Man United.
Laporta’s comments will add a different dimension to this particular transfer saga as he is under the impression that Barcelona need to sell one of their big names. If this is indeed the case, Neymar would be the ideal candidate, given he is still just 23 years of age. Laporta also weighed in on rumours linking Lionel Messi with a move away from Barcelona.
“Messi will never leave Barca. It is part of our emblem and our heart,” Laporta said.
“I received many proposals when I was president. Notably Inter [Milan], who wanted to pay his release clause but I always refused.
“For Neymar, it’s different. The economic situation of the club is not good, but the current president, to balance the books must sell players or assets. And the best solution is to sell a great player.
“There is talk of a proposal for Man United. But all that, it is because of the mismanagement of the current leadership.”
Laporta’s comments must be taken with a pinch of salt, however. The Spaniard is notorious for making comments without much weight behind them, most notably promising Barcelona fans the signing of David Beckham, and could be simply trying to unsettle current president, Josep Maria Bartomeu.
Laporta could be trying to worry fans of the club with the possibility of Neymar leaving and he blames this solely on the senior management. With Neymar himself recently confirming that he would like to stay with the Catalan giants, Laporta could simply just be adding fuel to a dimly lit flame.