Matheus Fernandes has slammed Barcelona for ripping up his contract without warning, with the Brazilian midfielder claiming that La Liga giants “didn’t treat me as a footballer”.
The 23-year-old, who was snapped up by the Blaugrana in January 2020, was informed of his release at Camp Nou back in June after taking in just 17 minutes of competitive game time.
He had been firmly frozen out by Ronald Koeman, much to his surprise, but claims no warning was given that his deal would be ended during a cost-cutting summer in Catalunya.
What has been said?
Asked by Globoesporte to explain his stunning exit at Barca, Fernandes – who has since returned to Palmeiras in his homeland – said: “I didn’t know, 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.
“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.
“I always had the dream as a child to play for Barcelona. 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.
“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.”
Who did Fernandes’ only appearance come against?
Barca have been forced to clear their decks this summer in a bid to meet salary cap demands in Spain.
They are looking to register a number of new signings while also getting talismanic captain Lionel Messi tied to a new contract after seeing him hit free agency.
Fernandes has been a victim of that, with the South American having been hastily moved on.
His solitary outing for Barca came in a Champions League clash with Dynamo Kyiv on November 24, 2020, with 17 minutes seen off the bench in a 4-0 win.