Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has denied claims that he played a part in Lionel Messi leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.
Barca announced last week that their greatest ever player would not be staying on at Camp Nou, despite agreeing terms for a new contract.
Messi’s 21-year association with the Catalan giants formally came to an end on Tuesday when putting pen to paper on an initial two-year deal with PSG.
Barca president Joan Laporta insists the club did all that they possibly could to keep hold of the Argentina captain, but “financial and structural obstacles” stood in the way.
However, ex-Espai Barca Commission member Juame Llopis claimed this week Laporta was convinced by CEO Ferran Reverter and Madrid chief Perez to let the forward leave in order to free up funds.
The comments were made after LaLiga announced a €2.7billion deal with CVC Capital Partners to boost clubs, with 90 per cent of the investment earmarked for their use.
Llopis, who resigned from his post after Messi’s departure, told Cadena SER: “The new CEO [Reverter] is in charge.
“I know that everything has to go through the CEO, everything has to be signed by the CEO and not the president.
“The CEO threatened Joan Laporta with his resignation, and he has an ironclad contract, if he signed [LaLiga’s deal] with CVC.
“Laporta was pressured by his CEO and, on the other hand, Florentino convinced him.
“Between the two of them they convinced him that he has to kick Messi out [of Barcelona] and not sign with CVC.”
— Real Madrid C.F.(@realmadriden) August 11, 2021
Madrid and Barca have since stated their objections regarding the CVC deal due to a disagreement over audiovisual rights.
And Perez has now issued a statement in response to Llopis’ remarks, insisting it was “impossible” for him to have any sway over Messi’s future at Camp Nou.
“Given the statements made by Jaume Llopis, a former member of the Espai Barca Commission, I want to state the following,” the statement read.
“It is flatly false that he has been friends for a long time with the CEO of FC Barcelona, Ferran Reverter, since he is a person with whom I have only met twice in my life.
“One of those occasions was four months ago and the other last Saturday at the meeting that took place in Barcelona with President Joan Laporta and President Andrea Agnelli.
“That was after the official communication on Messi had already taken place.
“Therefore, it is impossible for me to have had any influence either on Messi’s departure or on any other FC Barcelona decision.
“So, I hope that Jaume Llopis rectifies these statements that do not correspond to the truth as soon as possible.”
Madrid kick off their 2021-22 LaLiga campaign with a trip to Deportivo Alaves on Saturday.