Emerson ‘hurt’ by Barca forcing Tottenham move


Emerson Royal has said he felt hurt by the way Barcelona forced him to make a deadline day move to Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur.

Emerson, 22, had only signed for Barca in June when the club activated a clause to recall him from Real Betis for €9 million.

However, when Tottenham offered €25m for the right-back on Monday, the Barca hierarchy called him into the training ground and explained that they were going to let him go, despite his desire to stay.

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“I thought the club wanted me to stay,” Emerson told Marca in an interview on Friday. “I started on Sunday [against Getafe]. Then, the next day I started to see a mountain of things came coming out. That Tottenham were talking with Barcelona, that it was almost done.

“I didn’t know anything. The club called me to the training ground and that is when I learned they wanted me to go.”

Emerson explained that Barcelona’s financial crisis was the reason he was pushed out the door.

“The directors were all there, telling me the club’s situation wasn’t good, that they were going through a difficult moment and that it was best to accept the offer,” he said.

“I repeated that I wanted to stay because it was my dream to play for Barcelona. I knew I could succeed there if I was at my best. But I’m not stupid and we reached a moment where I realised they were telling me I was going whatever happened.

“I would not say I feel used, but the way they behaved hurts. There are better ways to do things. When I joined, I was sure they didn’t want to sell me, but seeing what’s happened, I’m certain they had this in mind when they brought me back.”

President Joan Laporta revealed earlier this summer that Barca’s gross debt has risen to €1.35 billion, while the club spent the transfer window trying to reduce the wage bill, with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann among the players to leave the club.

Even after Messi left in August, salaries still accounted for around 95% of Barca’s revenue, with LaLiga‘s fair play rules demanding they get that down to around 70%.

Emerson’s departure not only reduced their wage bill, but also brought in a transfer fee, which also helps to increase the club’s spending limit on salaries with LaLiga.

Miralem Pjanic became the latest player to leave Barca on Thursday, the midfielder joining Turkish side Besiktas on loan, where the transfer window is still open. Besiktas will pay a percentage of Pjanic’s salary but not all of it.

Griezmann, Ilaix Moriba and Rey Manaj also left this week, joining the likes of Messi, Junior Firpo and Konrad de la Fuente, who had all left earlier in the window.

Barca, meanwhile, signed Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia on free transfers, while Yusuf Demir and Luuk de Jong both arrived on loan.

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