Barcelona players were willing to sacrifice wages to bring Neymar back - Pique

Neymar PSG Paris Saint-Germain 2019-20
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The centre-half said he and his team-mates tried to help the Brazilian star return to the club

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique revealed the team offered to lower their salaries so Neymar could return to the La Liga champions.

Neymar attempted to engineer a return to Barca during the previous transfer window, just two years after his world-record €222 million ($248m) transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

However, a deal did not materialise with PSG despite Barca's efforts to bring Brazil international star Neymar back to Camp Nou.

Pique said he and his team-mates tried to help Neymar return to the Spanish giants amid the constraints of Financial Fair Play, telling Cadena Ser program 'El Larguero': "We didn't stump up money.

"What we said to the president was whether we could change our contracts because we knew there was a Financial Fair Play issue... so we said to the president, rather than earn something in year one, we could earn it in year two or three or four.

"At the end of the day we want to go along with what the club is doing and if we can help the club, in this case avoiding a financial fair problem, we've got no problem in doing that.

"Rather than reducing our salary it was about finding a formula so that if the club wanted to sign Neymar they could. At the time they thought it was a good idea, but then other problems cropped up."

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Asked if Neymar could come back to Barca, Pique added: "In football anything can happen and every year just makes that clearer. We told Neymar, 'you're going to a golden prison'. But in football things can happen and you find the door open."

The Brazilian has scored for PSG in four of his five Ligue 1 starts this season but is yet to play in the Champions League after being suspended for three matches last season after a foul-mouthed tirade on social media when the Parisian's exited to Manchester United in the competition.

Barcelona has had an inconsistent start to the season but are still top of La Liga with 22 points, ahead of rivals Real Madrid (21) and three teams tied for third on 20 points - Granada, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.