La Liga 'lacking star player' after Messi's Barcelona exit
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Emerson Royal has conceded that he was ‘hurt’ by the way Barcelona handled his sale to Tottenham on transfer deadline day. The full-back became Nuno Espirito Santo’s final signing of the summer window after arriving in a £25million deal.
Royal started Barca’s first two matches of the La Liga season but was allowed to leave with fewer than 24 hours left of the transfer window and joined Spurs on Tuesday.
The Catalan club are trying to ease huge debts and offloaded a couple of players in the final days of August.
Left-back Junior Firpo joined Spurs’ Premier League rivals Leeds United. Antoine Griezmann was then surprisingly allowed to return to Atletico Madrid on an initial loan deal.
Barca were also unable to re-sign legendary forward Lionel Messi to a new contract after his previous deal expired at the end of June. The Argentine has sensationally signed for Paris Saint-Germain.
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Senior players, including Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, have taken pay cuts just so new signings such as Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero can be registered for the club’s La Liga fixtures.
Royal was surprised by how quickly his transfer to Spurs happened. He has explained discussions that took place with Barca’s directors, in which he told them he wished to remain at the Camp Nou.
“I thought the club wanted me to stay. I played on Sunday as a starter. The next day I woke up and went to train calmly. There, I already began to see that a lot of things were coming out – that Tottenham were talking with Barcelona, that it was almost done,” the 22-year-old told Marca.
“I didn’t understand anything about what was happening because I didn’t know anything. In the afternoon the club called me to go to the training ground because they wanted to talk to me, and there I found out that they wanted to sell me.
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“I met the leaders of the club. They began to tell me that the club’s financial situation was not good, that they were going through a difficult moment and that it was better for them to sell me.
“I repeated to them that my intention was to stay because I had the dream of playing here and contributing things to Barcelona.
“I have the ambition to play. I know that I am a footballer with a contract, and I could say that I’d stay, but I am a person who wants to be happy. I do not want to stay at a club that I love but being sad.
“I knew their thought was not for me to stay, but for me to leave. So, I decided to go. I told myself that I was not going to stay here being sad.”
Royal joined Barca from Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro in 2019. He spent two seasons on loan at Real Betis before returning to compete for a first-team place this summer.
But the player now feels that the club bought him with a future sale in mind.
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He continued: “Used is not the word, but I was hurt by the way it was done. They could have done it differently. There were better ways to fix things.
“When I arrived, I was sure that Barcelona did not want to sell me. But seeing what happened I am clear that when they signed me they already had the idea of selling me in mind.”
The right back is due to make his Spurs debut against Crystal Palace on September 11.
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