August 10, 2020, 10:51 a.m.
(Updated August 2, 2020 at 12:48 pm)
Barcelona's president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, says the club will not sign with Neymar or Lautaro Martinez this summer due to the financial burden of the coronavirus pandemic.
The La Liga had hoped to sign a partial exchange agreement for Neymar that would see Antoine Griezmann move to Paris Saint-Germain, while striker Martinez was their primary goal after an impressive Serie A season.
Sky Sports news reported in April that Barca is ready to let Griezmann go after just one season Bartomeu says the current situation "does not invite large investments" to fund potential steps towards their primary goals.
He confirmed that talks about moving have taken place for Martinez – who is also on the Manchester City watch list as a potential long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero – but these talks are now over.
Martinez, who has scored 18 goals in 39 games for Inter this season, has a £ 98.5m release clause in his contract and refuses to extend his current contract at San Siro.
To her interest in Neymar, he added: "Neymar? This is not feasible in this situation. PSG does not want to sell it either."
Even the richest clubs in the world are feeling the effects of the pandemic. Barcelona loses € 200 million between March and June.
"If the pandemic does not improve, there will be no spectators, no museums, no shops and will continue to lose money," said Bartomeu. "It forces us to be very strict in management. We have to check which investments are essential and which can wait.
"All major European clubs are affected. Everyone is working to adapt. And it won't take a year, but three or four."
(tagsToTranslate) News – Barcelona: Neymar (t) Lautaro Martinez is put on hold due to the financial burden of the corona virus