Barcelona “did everything possible” to try and sign Neymar this summer but think his club Paris Saint-Germain “never wanted to sell him,” according to the Catalan side’s chief executive.
The Brazil international was repeatedly linked with a return to Barcelona during the transfer window.
The 27-year-old joined Paris St-Germain from Barcelona in 2017 for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m).
“We made a very big effort to get Neymar,” said CEO Oscar Grau.
“We did everything possible. We made two offers, one including players and one without them but we got the feeling PSG never wanted to sell him.
“We are not going to lose control when it comes to players. We want the best team around but we also want to be sustainable.”
Neymar missed PSG’s first five games of the season as he attempted to seal his move back to Barcelona before returning to the side for last weekend’s Ligue 1 match at home to Strasbourg.
The 27-year-old was booed by his own fans throughout the game before scoring an injury-time overhead-kick winner.
He said afterwards that the crowd’s reaction means “every game I play will be an away game”.
Barca predict record revenue
Meanwhile, Barcelona say they will become the first sports club to generate revenue exceeding 1bn euros (£884m) this season.
The Spanish giants revealed revenues of 990m euros last season and project an increase to 1.047bn euros for the 2019/20 campaign.
Four staff members have been sacked by the Mercedes Formula 1 team after an investigation into discrimination.
No details have been released about the incidents, but they are understood to be of a racist or religious nature.
“We condemn this behaviour in the strongest terms and acted immediately,” a Mercedes team statement added.
“We value the diversity of our employees and it is a source of strength for our team.
“Our working environment is based on appreciation and mutual respect.”
The members of staff had been working at the Mercedes team headquarters in Northamptonshire.
Mercedes’ five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who will start second on the grid at the Russian Grand Prix on Sunday, currently leads the F1 drivers’ standings by 65 points.