Matheus Fernandes has slammed his treatment by Barcelona after being released by email and denied an unveiling when he signed at the Nou Camp.
The Brazilian joined the Blaugrana in January 2020 but played just 17 minutes during his time in Catalonia and had his contract terminated this summer.
Frozen out under Ronald Koeman, Fernandes has now revealed how he was treated following his return to Palmeiras in his homeland and is reportedly set to sue his former employers.
The 23-year-old sole Barca appearance came in a Champions League group stage match with Dynamo Kyiv in November last year, in which he came on as a second-half substitute.
His exit comes as the La Liga side look to recoup funds to remedy their difficult financial situation, with talisman Lionel Messi out of contract and currently a free agent.
Fernandes was asked by Globoesporte to explain his departure and said: “I didn’t know [about being released], and when they told me I couldn’t believe it.
“I was at home, I was going out with my wife and I received a message from the club asking if I had the same email address.
“I confirmed and then received it.”
The situation left the Rio-born playmaker confused, and understandably so after receiving no explanation from the Nou Camp hierachy.
“I didn’t understand it, I sent it to my manager and lawyer. They said it was my dismissal.
“Time passed and my name came out in the press. No conversation, nothing, they didn’t even call to say hello and goodbye.”
Upon signing 19 months ago, Fernandes was immediately loaned to Real Valladolid, where he appearances just three times.
The former Botafogo star then returned to his parent club last summer as his fairytale turned sour.
“I always had the dream as a child to play for Barcelona,” Fernandes admitted as he lambasted the Spanish football behemoths.
Who else should Barcelona let go to recoup funds? Comment below.
“When I got there, they didn’t treat me as a footballer.
“I told the director that he didn’t treat me like a professional Barcelona player.”
He added: “I was a Barcelona player, and I wanted to be treated like one.
“The other signings had a presentation and I didn’t. I was upset.
“Looking at it from the outside I thought one thing but when I got there they treated me differently.”
Barcelona are continuing their summer clear out, reportedly offering high-earners Miralem Pjanic and Samuel Umtiti severance packages to depart and trying to ship out the likes of Philippe Coutinho.
Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia have signed on free transfers.
Antoine Griezmann is seen as a quick-fix to free up wages, with a swap deal for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez discussed.
With Messi’s situation still officially unresolved, president Joan Laporta recently assured supporters that talks with their no. 10 were going well following the Argentine’s long-time Copa America triumph.
“The player has always said he wants to stay on and we are making good progress with the negotiations,” Laporta said upon the signing of Memphis Depay from Lyon, also on a free, earlier this week.
Directors “[Rafa] Yuste and [Mateu] Alemany are working very hard. What we all want is for Messi to stay at Baraca. To stay for a lot of years and play alongside such talented footballers as Depay.
“We are very satisfied with the attitude being shown by both parties, which an operation like this needs.
“Leo is on holiday right now, but he has a whole team working to get him a contract that suits everyone.”
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