Gerard Pique revealed that the Barcelona squad had discussed the possibility of Neymar signing up for Real Madrid in the summer.
Neymar pushed hard for an exit from Paris Saint-Germain all summer, and allegedly favoured reuniting with Pique and co at Barcelona. However, Real Madrid were never far away from headlines over the Brazilian’s future either.
Ultimately, though, neither of the La Liga giants could make PSG a tempting enough offer. Apparently, the Parisians swiftly turned down trade deals involving the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Gareth Bale.
PSG then made it abundantly clear to both Barcelona and Real – either pay €222m or forget about Neymar.
And, following Lionel Messi’s confession that he feared his old buddy would end up at the Santiago Bernabeu, Pique has now revealed the entire squad were thinking along the same lines.
“We weren’t afraid, but the possibility was there and we spoke about it in the locker room,” said the Barcelona defender in a gala in Madrid on Thursday.
“But in the end, it was Neymar’s decision. He stayed in Paris and I hope he does his best, the relationship with him is fantastic.”
Neymar has since returned to action for PSG and he’s wasted on time in getting back to business. In his five Ligue 1 games, he has scored four goals already this season.
Pique also responded to Messi indicating earlier this week that he didn’t like the defender’s remarks aimed at the Barcelona board.
The 32-year-old caused quite the stir this month at Camp Nou. He openly accused board members of using local press to spread stories.
“I choose what I say and don’t say,” said Pique when asked on Messi’s reaction.
“Messi is the captain and he has his discourse. I’d say he’s the person I best get on within the squad and I think we have an aligned discourse.”
Pique will return to action on October 19 for Barcelona’s trip to SD Eibar in La Liga.