Barcelona: Real Madrid trying to sign Neymar hurt our stability

One of the Catalans' vice-presidents says that signing the Brazilian starlet for an estimated €87.2 million (£71.7m) a year earlier than planned hurt the club's bank balance
Barcelona were financially rocked because Real Madrid forced them to sign Neymar a year earlier than planned, according to vice-president Carles Vilarrubi.

The Spanish giants locked horns in a lengthy transfer saga which lead to the Catalans confirming the signing of the Brazilian starlet from Santos a year before he made the move for €57 million (£46.9m) officially - although later revelations showed that the actual payments rose to an estimated €87m (£71.7m).

Vilarrubi admits that Barca's urgency in beating their arch-rivals to securing Neymar left them in a bad position economically but argues that their hand was forced by Los Blancos.

"The club signed a pre-agreement for Neymar to join the following season [2014-15]," the Barca chief told reporters. "Pressure from another club led us to sign him a year earlier. This fact has affected the club's financial stability."

He added that such "surrounding pressure" can sometimes force a club to make a move which is motivated by "not necessarily sporting" circumstances.