In an interview with SPORT, Barcelona director Albert Soler has claimed that the club first found out that Neymar wanted to leave the club via a WhatsApp message.
The surprising news comes after the Brazilian made his world record £199m move to Paris Saint Germain this summer.
Barcelona director Albert Soler did the interview in an attempt to put to bed the idea that the club’s hierarchy knew for a long time that Neymar was going to leave and sign for Paris Saint-Germain.
Soler insisted that they only learned of the threat of the Brazilian leaving during the tour of the United States, amazingly via a WhatsApp. He also claimed that Neymar didn’t say anything, until he communicated that he wanted to leave shortly before his buyout clause was triggered by PSG:
“We only found out [for certain] the day that Neymar officially communicated to us that he was going,” claimed Soler.
“The rumours began at the end of July. Both the president and I didn’t receive any information before then. It’s not true. From there, if anyone wants to speculate… the important thing is that the player has taken a decision.”
“Regardless of if it was July 19 or July 25. If the player has taken a decision, he’s the only one responsible for that decision. If it was taken before, we don’t know.”
The Catalan giant’s director then went on to claim that he had the infamous WhatsApp message on his phone, which is dated if anyone wants proof:
“There’s a WhatsApp in which I am told that PSG want Neymar. It’s from July 19. The good thing about WhatsApp messages is they have a date on them. Not in January, not in March, on July 19,” claimed Soler.