Gerard Pique has claimed that him and fellow Barcelona stars were willing to give up wages this summer in order for the club to finance a move for wantaway Paris Saint-Germain forward Neymar.
The Brazilian left the Camp Nou to join the French club in 2017, but made it abundantly clear this summer that he wanted out of the Ligue 1 side, after failing to achieve the targets he set himself when he made his world-record move from La Blaugrana.
A transfer saga that ebbed and flowed repeatedly throughout the window eventually ended in disappointment for Barcelona fans - and Neymar in particular - as no deal could be agreed to see the 27-year-old reunited with his former club. Instead, he is now forced to see out his contract until January at the earliest, with the blatant efforts to return to La Liga not sitting well with supporters of the French champions.
Given the €222m fee PSG paid for Neymar only two seasons ago, Barça were unable to meet the Ligue 1 side's demands amid the constraints of Financial Fair Play. This was confirmed by Pique, who revealed he and his teammates were willing to go the extra mile to help the club seal Neymar's return.
"We didn't stump up money," he told El Larguero, as relayed by Goal.
"What we said to the president was whether we could change our contracts because we knew there was a Financial Fair Play issue...so we said to the president, rather than earn something in year one, we could earn it in year two or three or four.
"Rather than reducing our salary it was about finding a formula so that if the club wanted to sign Neymar they could. At the time they thought it was a good idea, but then other problems cropped up."
The determination of the club to end Neymar's Parisian hell seemingly knows no limits, as Pique added that he is hopeful that his former teammate can be released from his 'golden prison' in the near future, as circumstances change over the course of the season.
"In football anything can happen and every year just makes that clearer," he added. "We told Neymar, 'you're going to a golden prison'. But in football things can happen and you find the door open."