By Eurohoops team/ email@example.com
It seems that after all Pau Gasol will not play for Barcelona, despite the advanced talks about the two sides. Josep María Bartomeu, president of the club, ruled out his signing on Barça TV. “He is a person who has helped us a lot, he is an ambassador for Barcelona and represents us in the United States. He is a star of the NBA and Barça could hardly pay what he would cost to the club,” he said according to Spanish newspaper AS.
For the record, Barcelona has one of the top payrolls in European basketball, which includes Nikola Mirotic, the top-paid player in Europe.
Gasol, who turned 40 on July 6, has not played for more than a year. His last game was on March 10, 2019, and since then he has undergone surgery twice for a navicular stress fracture in his left foot. He missed the NBA playoffs with Milwaukee, he also missed the World Cup in China with Spain and he would not have made it to the Tokyo Games either if they had not been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
However, it’s obvious that Gasol would love to retire after the Olympics, which will be played in the summer of 2021. That’s why he was involved in talks with Barcelona in order to return to action for one last season. His priority remains the NBA, but it will hard to get a real playing opportunity in the league at this point in Gasol’s Hall-of-fame-caliber career.