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Bartomeu confirms: Barcelona has halted the signing of Neymar and Martinez

The financial strains caused by the coronavirus pandemic stopped Barcelona from signing Neymar or Lautaro Martinez.

Josep Maria Bartomeu, Barca president says the club won’t splash out this summer on signing Neymar or Lautaro Martinez.

While Inter striker Martinez was their top target after an impressive Serie A season, the side of La Liga had hoped to reach a part-exchange deal for Neymar that would see Antoine Griezmann join Paris Saint-Germain.

Bartomeu says the current situation “does not invite large investments”, but in April, Sky Sports News reported that Barca is willing to let Griezmann go after just one season to help fund potential moves towards its priority goals.

He confirmed that talks took place over a move for Martinez but those talks have now ended.

Manchester City is also eyeing on Martinez for Sergio Aguero as a potential long-term replacement.

This season in 39 games Martinez netted 18 goals for Inter and has refused to extend his current deal at the San Siro, he has a £98.5 m release clause in his contract.

Bartomeu said in an interview with Sport: “Barça has spoken about Lautaro with Inter, but the talks have stopped, the situation does not invite large investments.”

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He added on their interest in Neymar: “Neymar? It’s unfeasible in this situation, nor does PSG want to sell him.”

Even the world’s richest clubs are feeling the pandemic’s effects with Barcelona losing EUR 200 m between March and June.

“If the pandemic situation does not improve, there will be no spectators, no museum, no shops open and the money will continue to be lost,” said Bartomeu. “It forces us to be very rigorous in management, and we need to look at which investments are essential and which can wait.”

“That affects all the big European clubs. Everyone is adjusting. And that will not last a year, but three or four.”

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