BARCELONA – Brazilian striker Neymar left FC Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain with his eye on a possible future move to Real Madrid, former Barça club president Joan Laporta said on Friday.
PSG signed Neymar last summer after paying Barcelona the 222 million euros ($273.27 million) required by the Brazilian’s buyout clause.
“For Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain is maybe a step before joining Real Madrid,” Laporta said during the Web Sport Congress.
He expressed sympathy over Neymar’s ankle injury, which could sideline the striker for three months, and said the Brazilian’s absence would likely hurt PSG against Real Madrid in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie, set for next Tuesday in Paris.
“I feel sorry (for him). He is an important player for his team and they will miss him if they want to come back from their 3-1 defeat at Santiago Bernabeu,” Laporta added.