Interim Barcelona president Carles Tusquets has revealed he would have sold Lionel Messi in the summer.
The 33-year-old made an attempt to leave Barcelona this summer before backing down.
Messi can talk to other clubs in January and leave for free when his contract expires in June, with Manchester City expected to make a renewed attempt to lure the Argentine star away from Camp Nou.
“From an economic point of view, I would have sold Messi this summer. Economically, that would have been desirable,” Tusquets told Catalan radio Rac1.
“La Liga imposes salary caps and that would have helped us,” Tusquets said when asked what a potential transfer would have offered.
Tusquets, who took over as interim president after the resignation of Josep Maria Bartomeu in October, all but ruled out a return of Neymar to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain.
“If he comes as a free agent, that could work, but if we don't sell, we won't be able to recruit. It won't be possible, unless the next president (who will be elected on January 24) has a miracle in his hands,” said Tusquets.
Barca's financial status, Tusquets added, was “worrying, very bad, but with hope.”
“We will not be able to pay salaries in January,” he said. “In January, the players will not be paid, but it's not serious.
“The players have two big paydays, in January and July. That has been delayed, as have title bonuses.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago