The Barça Leaks are definitely making a lot of noise in Spain. After the revelations about Lionel Messi’s demands to extend his contract at FC Barcelona in the summer of 2020, the new information revealed by El Mundo tackle the Neymar case. The daily obtained an email sent by Raúl Sanllehí, then director of football of the Catalan club. We are at the end of July 2017 and FC Barcelona is struggling to convince Neymar to stay at the club, he who is seriously considering joining PSG.
The manager then recounts the conversation he had with the father of the star. “Today I was, with Óscar (Grau, then general manager), at Neymar’s house to assess the situation. I met a man enraged and with a great desire for war. Very angry with the club”, writes Sanllehí in reference to the signing bonus of 43.6 M€ (out of 64.4 M€) that his son should have received the same day, for the extension signed a year earlier. It is this same bonus which will be the subject of a lawsuit later between the two parties, which the Brazilian will lose. This is another story.
Barca management sabotaged the work of their football director
This payment which did not take place will be one of the grievances of the player’s clan to his club. Yet Neymar Senior obviously tried to convince his son that his future was in Catalonia, and not in France, which Barça did not want to hear looking at Sanllehí’s reproaches. “For weeks he (Neymar’s father) has shown me that he was working to convince his son not to make the mistake of going to PSG. You will call me naive or delusional but I don’t care. I’ve been with this man for hours and hours and I think I know him well enough to know when he’s bluffing and when he’s telling the truth. And in this case, I am absolutely convinced, he showed me, that he was on our side.
We understand that there are two fronts in this story. Not only does Neymar have desires elsewhere, but on top of that, Barça is hampered by internal conflicts. The management does not agree on the attitude to adopt vis-à-vis the player. She does not take her desire to join PSG seriously despite the warnings of her director of football. “I told you all separately that the problem in this case was the player’s head. The boy is sick, he has many personal problems, he is very confused and very vulnerable. So he mistakenly thought that by leaving Barcelona he would also run away from his problems, when in reality what he should do is face them and not leave. His teammates were sensational, supported him until the end but in the end they were fed up, like me and like all of us.he admits.
Neymar felt betrayed for the club
He accuses Josep Bartomeu, the president, and Òscar Grau of letting the winger go, sabotaging his work with the family in the process. “I have devoted myself to the father for the past few weeks. I talked for hours and hours. I assure you he was with us, until the last two or three days, when, wrongly and unfairly, he felt betrayed when the day before the Miami game (in preseason), the figure of the bonus at signature came out in the press. He interpreted this as a means of pressure on the part of the club which would have disclosed it. That’s when we started to lose him… Obviously, I defended that in no way did we divulge him, but he dumped me.” This is how Barça finally lost Neymar, who left for PSG for €222m in August 2017.