Laporta tells Messi & 'enslaved' Neymar they should return to Barcelona for free as he attacks PSG for 'kidnapping' Mbappe

Lionel Messi Joan Laporta Neymar PSGGetty Images

Joan Laporta has told Lionel Messi and his "enslaved" team-mate Neymar that they should return to Barcelona for free, while also attacking Paris Saint-Germain for "kidnapping" Kylian Mbappe.

Neymar emerged as one of the best players in the world during his four-year stint at Barca as he formed one-third of an all-star front three alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, but left the club to join PSG in a world-record deal in 2017.

The Brazilian reunited with Messi at Parc des Princes last summer as the Argentine was forced to leave Camp Nou due to the club's excessive wage bill, and Laporta believes that both men are now constrained by their respective contracts with the Ligue 1 champions.

What has Laporta said about Neymar and Messi?

It has been suggested that PSG could put Neymar on the market after tying Mbappe down to a new contract, but Laporta doubts whether a transfer would be feasible for the 30-year-old.

"Who doesn't love Neymar? He is an exceptional player," the Barca president has told L'Esportiu de Catalunya.

"He has a contract with PSG, he has four or five years left. These players who have signed for clubs like PSG have almost signed their slavery. For money."

Laporta added on Messi and Neymar now being bound to PSG: "Messi has gone. We would all have liked him to end his sporting life here and for whatever reason he has not been able to.

"It could not be because of the fair play [rules] of the Spanish league and the proposal of PSG. These players, when they enter a dynamic like this find that they cannot leave because the operations are many millions of euros. 

"You tell me, in the case of Neymar: I don't know how they do it in France, because maybe they have other systems that we don't have here, but cancelling a system that is signed in advance costs a lot of money. 

"It is also true that PSG have a state behind them, they have a lot of money and maybe they can make an advance payment to terminate such a contract."

Could Messi and Neymar return to Barca?

The Blaugrana chief says it would only be possible for the club to re-sign Messi and Neymar on free transfers given how much it would cost to prise either man away from PSG.

"Should Neymar come for free? All these players [possibly] coming back to Barca one day should come for free. We are not in a position to make a purchase transaction which can cost a transfer [fee] for these players," said Laporta.

"But even if we had the funds, we wouldn't do it. It would be irrational. If they are players who are free and are in the market, then they are of exceptional quality and we have already enjoyed them at Barca. 

"Then it would be a matter for the coach to think about whether or not they can fit into the new Barca project. As players, I like both of them very much."

Laporta slams PSG after Mbappe saga

Kylian Mbappe contract extension
Getty

Laporta has also weighed in on Mbappe's contract extension at PSG, who reportedly made the 23-year-old the highest-paid player in world football in order to dissuade him from joining Real Madrid.

The Spaniard thinks the lucrative agreement will have a negative effect on the European game, but he has little sympathy for Barca's long-time Liga rivals after seeing them miss out on a huge signing.

"This distorts the market. Players end up being kidnapped for money. These are the effects of a club having a state behind it. This goes against all the principles of the European Union," said Laporta.

"It is a reflection on the sustainability of football in Europe. Then there is the reading that can be done from Barca. 

"There is a direct rival who does not come out stronger and we prefer that they cannot make us squirm when it comes to competing. But I’m left with the reflection on the sustainability of football. 

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"Because I don't think we should care so much about a rival either. We have to worry about having a competitive team, which is what we are trying to do. 

"It has been seen that when we have cared more about ourselves than our rivals, things have gone well."

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