Andre Cury, who was previously part of Barcelona‘s technical secretariat and also worked as Neymar‘s agent in the past, has revealed just how close the Paris Saint-Germain forward came to re-joining the club in the summer of 2019.
That summer, however, Barcelona had already wrapped up a 120 million euro deal to sign Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, which made a move for Neymar more difficult.
Cury still believes that there is a chance Neymar could return to Barcelona, which could, in turn, lead to Lionel Messi wanting to stay.
“Neymar still has five or six years [left] of a very good career,” Cury said in an interview with Sport.
“Messi would surely stay [at Barcelona] to relive the magical moments they had together.
“That summer [of 2019] we were very close [to bringing Neymar back to Barcelona], but as Griezmann had already signed, [the club] was already up to its neck financially.
“PSG asked us for 150 million [euros], plus the transfer of [Ivan] Rakitic and [Jean-Clair] Todibo and the loan of [Ousmane] Dembele. The only difference is that Barcelona‘s representatives offered 130 [million euros] instead of 150 [million euros].”
The former Barcelona scout also disclosed just how close the Blaugrana came to signing Vinicius Junior before he joined Real Madrid.
“With [Vinicius] we were three and a half years ahead of Madrid,” Cury stated.
“We were betrayed by his agents, who had reached a compromise with Barcelona. At the key moment of the deal, they stabbed us.
“A fortnight before signing for Madrid, here in Brazil, Vinicius said he was a Barcelona fan, that his idol was Neymar and that Messi was better than Cristiano [Ronaldo].
“Then he said whatever he wanted when he was already in Madrid.”
Cury explained that Real Madrid‘s representatives went to visit Vinicius, which ultimately changed everything.
“His agents told us that they would come but that nothing would happen because the player [had already agreed to join] Barcelona. There was a verbal commitment.
“The agents returned to Barcelona, closed the definitive agreement with us, shook our hand… And then they disappeared and betrayed us.”
Another Brazilian youngster that ended up joining Real Madrid ahead of Barcelona is Rodrygo Goes, who Cury claims Los Blancos were worried of seeing end up in a Blaugrana shirt.
“They didn’t trust Vinicius and feared they had signed the wrong player and we [were going to get] the right one,” he commented.
“That’s why they got two players of the same age, in the same position, and from outside the EU.
“Barcelona met twice here in Brazil with the president of Santos [who Rodrygo was playing for]. I told them we had to leave with the deal closed. We didn’t. And then Madrid arrived.”
Finally, Cury offered his thoughts on the Arthur Melo–Miralem Pjanic swap deal that took place between Barcelona and Juventus last summer.
“It’s one of the biggest aberrations I’ve ever seen in the history of football. It’s absurd,” he said.
“You swap Arthur, a 23-year-old, who has a net wage of two million [euros], for a player, a 31-year-old, who should have a net wage of six million [euros], so you increase the wage bill.”