La Liga chief Javier Tebas has given a simple answer to whether Barcelona could have kept Lionel Messi.
Messi left Barca after 21 years at the club this summer, unable to stay due to the club’s decision not to take La Liga’s CVC deal, a decision which left them over the salary cap and unable to register new contracts until Antoine Griezmann’s eventual departure on deadline day.
The whole Messi situation was one of the storms of the summer in La Liga, with controversy surrounding president Joan Laporta given his decision to place the value of TV rights over Messi despite agreeing a new contract with the Argentine superstar.
During the contract negotiations between Barca and Messi, La Liga chief Tebas played hardball, not affording the Blaugrana any special dispensation.
And now that the dust has settled on the saga, Tebas has sat down to do an interview with Sport where he was asked whether the departure of Messi could have been avoided.
To that question, he simply replied: “Yes.”
And asked to elaborate, he added: “I told Laporta personally, through telephone, and his board. Solutions were sought, if the reasons were economic.
“If there was another motive, I cannot assess it. I think that, in the coming season, with the numbers that Barca game, we will see if Messi really could have stayed or now.
“And though I respect the decision of the club, one has to tell things as they are.”