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Barcelona's players offered to change contracts to sign Neymar, says Pique

Barcelonas players offered to change contracts to sign Neymar, says Pique

Barcelona: Gerard Pique has said Barcelona's players offered to alter their own contracts to help the club buy Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain last summer.

Barca attempted to re-sign Neymar, sold to PSG for a world record 222 million euros ($249 million) in 2017, but the two teams were unable to agree a deal.

Key players, including Lionel Messi, were eager for the Brazilian to return and Pique says they tried to help the club's president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, complete the transfer while satisfying UEFA's Financial Fair Play rules.

"What we proposed to the president was that we could tweak our contracts because we knew there was an issue with Fair Play," Pique told Cadena Ser on Wednesday night. "Instead of getting paid what we were owed for that year, we could transfer it to the second, third of fourth year so Ney could come.

"Ultimately we wanted to support the club and if we could help in some way, we had no problem with that."

Neymar earns 38 million euros a year at PSG and the financial implications of signing the 27-year-old would be huge.

"We told him, 'you live in a golden prison'," Pique added. "But in football anything can happen and the door is open."

Pique also said the postponement of last Saturday's Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid was unnecessary.

The fixture has been rescheduled for December 18 after violent protests broke out last week in Catalonia, following the imprisonment of nine pro-independence leaders.

"My opinion is the postponement was unnecessary," said Pique. "Common sense says that in Spanish stadiums there has not been any violence. We are civilised people.

"That same weekend the Espanyol-Villarreal game was played and nothing happened. And why isn't something going to happen on December 18 if it was going to happen before? The situation will be similar.

"It was magnifying a problem that wasn't a problem in the first place."

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