La Liga president Javier Tebas has admitted that he desperately wanted Lionel Messi to sign for Barcelona this summer.
The Argentina international was heavily courted by the Spanish giants, who were keen on taking advantage of his expiring contract at Paris Saint-Germain to bring him to Camp Nou as a free agent this summer.
The Catalan side tried their best, working with the league to design a workable financial solution to sign Messi.
But the 35-year-old chose to sign for Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami, much to the disappointment of Barcelona and Tebas, who was working closely with Barcelona to see the deal over the line.
Speaking to the media on Friday, the La Liga chief admitted wanting the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner back in the league. However, Barcelona were not in a favourable position to get the deal over the line.
“As a fan and as president of La Liga, I would have liked to have Messi in our league,” Tebas said, as quoted by Barca Blaugrana (via Sportskeeda).
“Things are what they are, and circumstances come as they come. I’m sure Barcelona will bring a great player, apart from the ones they have. They brought Lewandowski, who we have already seen the level he has given. I wish he had come, but what can we do?”
According to Tebas, the league had approved Barcelona’s viability plan to bring Messi back to the club. But things didn’t work out in the end.
The La Liga chief also pointed out that the Catalan club are doing well to get their wage bill in line.
“The viability plan was approved,” Tebas added.
“That does not mean that they are in the normal 1×1 situation; they are still in the rule of 40%. As it was approved to control two seasons, it means that Barcelona has to make efforts, and they are making them, to reduce their wage bill.
“Today, I read that they have informed Mirotic of his termination, and that is a very important effort. Barça’s entire wage bill is taken into account, including the basketball section. They are making an important effort, and we will see if they continue along these lines.”
Before signing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami side, Lionel Messi reportedly rejected a world-record €500 million per season offer from Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal.