Neymar: Barcelona players 'were willing to delay pay' to help re-sign Brazil star

Author: BBC Sport
Neymar scored 105 goals in 186 games for the Catalan club between 2013-2017

Barcelona's players offered to accept delays to their pay if it would help the club re-sign forward Neymar in the summer, says defender Gerard Pique.

Barcelona did "everything possible" to sign the Brazil international but the move did not materialise.

Neymar left Barcelona for Paris St-Germain for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) in 2017.

Pique said players told the club they would accept delays of pay to help the club meet Financial Fair Play rules.

"We were ready to adjust our contracts," Pique told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

"We weren't going to contribute money, but we were going to make things easier by allowing some payments to be made in the second or third year instead of the first."

Barcelona spent more than £200m in the summer, including deals for midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.

Financial Fair Play rules, which prevent clubs from spending beyond their means, were understood to be one of the issues Barcelona would have had to have overcome to sign forward Neymar.