Agent opens up and announces superstar interest was shown by Chelsea, as mega deal was close
The agent of Brazilian star Neymar has opened up and revealed just how close he came to signing for Chelsea.
He was linked to a whole host of clubs while at Santos in his home-country, but despite all the speculation linking him to the Bridge Neymar moged to Barcelona and would go on to form part of one of the most feared attacks in world football alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez before leaving to join Paris Saint-Germain in a stunning €222million transfer.
However, Neymar’s former representative, Wagner Ribeiro, has explained how things could have turned out very differently for his client ten years ago: ‘There were many calls for him. I received an official offer from Chelsea the day Neymar debuted with the Brazilian team in 2010,’ Ribiero told Spanish outlet AS.
‘They made an offer, we studied it, but in the end we didn’t decide anything. ‘On that occasion, we transferred it to Neymar’s father and the player himself.
‘Then came other offers from Bayern Munich and Juventus, with whom I had a meeting in Turin.’
Back in 2014, Neymar lifted the lid on our interest and insisted he made the ‘right decision’ to stay on with Santos at that stage of his career.
‘It was August 23, 2010. My father and I had a meeting with president Luis Alvaro at the Santos headquarters inside the Vila Belmiro. Chelsea had made a huge transfer bid,’ the Brazil international wrote in his autobiography ‘Neymar: My Story – Conversations With My Father’.
‘In the middle of our conversation, the president turned off the lights and pointed at an empty chair.
“This is the chair of the great national sports hero. Since Ayrton Senna’s death, this chair is vacant. If Neymar Jr stays in Santos and refuses Chelsea’s proposal, he will give his first step to sit in this chair.”
‘That made us think. That decision would be a turning point in my life. Even Pele called me. Can you imagine how important I felt? The King of Football called me and asked me to stay. ‘He reminded me of his entire career with Santos, his five world titles with the national team and the club, and all the recognition he received.
‘It wasn’t easy but it was the right decision for us. We did the right thing for our friends and my career.’