Eric Abidal: If we had not signed Griezmann, Neymar would be at Barca

The Brazilian left for PSG but might have returned in 2019

| sport

Eric Abidal has given his first interview since leaving Barcelona and it was an explosive one. The former French footballer and Barca’s technical secretary said that he wanted to bring Neymar back to the club in summer 2019.

“Ten days before the end of the transfer window, I went to Paris to talk with Leonardo (PSG’s sporting director) and I was with my CEO, and we were talking about Neymar,” said Abidal. 

“I think if the CEO goes to Paris Saint-Germain, it’s because we can sign him. If we didn't sign Griezmann before, I think 100 per cent we could have resigned Neymar because what we needed was a winger and when Neymar was at Barcelona he was amazing. This is not about which player is better, it was what I thought was the position we needed at the time. The team needed a real winger. The president decided to sign Griezmann.”

The signing was ultimately frustrated because of politics and money - the Brazilian was trying to squeeze money out of Barcelona that he claimed he was owed.

“One of the arguments against Neymar was that he had a court case against the club, so it’s not easy,” added Abidal.

“They said he would have to stop the court process if he wanted to come back. That wasn’t my problem because I was not at the club when that dispute happened. In my view, I could sign the player, but it didn’t happen.”

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