The biggest clubs in Europe had already been scouting and closely following Neymar for years before the forward went on to join Barcelona in the 2013 summer transfer window.
Neymar emerged as one of the biggest attacking prospects in years during his time with Santos. With his Copa Libertadores success and early promising play with the Brazilian national team, many clubs aimed to sign Neymar amid his growing potential. But as mentioned, Barca won the race in the end.
Among the clubs that showed an early interest in signing Neymar was Chelsea. The Premier League side was in the rumor mill for a possible Neymar transfer move in 2010, but he ended up staying put at Santos.
‘We were in New York before his first selection [Brazilian national team],” Ribeiro said. We met with representatives from Chelsea. They wanted to, offered a lot of money, but Neymar didn’t want to go.”
Had Neymar joined Chelsea in 2010, it would have likely changed the landscape of Premier League football.
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