Reports: Jose Mourinho tried to sign Neymar for Chelsea, while he was still Real Madrid manager
Boy! would the Premier League have been different if Mourinho's audacious attempt had paid off
Oh! Jose Mourinho! If you thought you had heard it all, what till you get a load of this one. Jose Mourinho tried to sign Neymar for Chelsea... while he was still Real Madrid manager!!!
In the last few months of his tempestuous Real Madrid career, Mourinho – having lost the dressing room as well as the boardroom – had been preparing for his new life and a return to the Premier League, and Chelsea.
Back in April 2013, both Real Madrid and Barcelona were desperately clamouring for the signature of the hottest property in World football at the time – Santos' and Brazil's superstar, Neymar. In the four years at Santos he had played 103 games and scored 54 – not bad considering that he joined Santos when he was 17.
Barcelona had the upper hand to sign the superstar – with Sandro Rossell's Nike connections giving him a natural edge, and there had been an agreement in place between Neymar's dad (who doubles up as his agent as well) and the Catalan giants.
Not one to be dissuaded by such frivolous issues as pre-signed contracts, Florentino Perez had been preparing to throw the moolah around – one rumour even saying he was willing to pay Barca 40 million Euros to sign away the deal they had with Neymar Sr.
While Barca had been lining up the bid for Neymar as a long-term replacement for Lionel Messi, Madrid had seen him as a long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Also, Read – Barcelona star Andre Gomes speaks about playing with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo
Leveraging this inside info, Jose Mourinho hatched a plan of his own. Using his own agent, and close friend, Jorge Mendes to get Neymar's phone number, and ringing him up directly!
Reportedly, Neymar had been shocked to hear Mourinho's voice – especially as there had been no prior warning that the call would happen. Mourinho had gone on to tell him that he was going to take over at Chelsea next season and he wanted the then 21-year old to become a key part of his project. He even assured the young Brazilian that Roman Abrahamovic would do anything to make this deal happen.
In the end, though, Neymar struck to his own earlier deal and turned up at Barca, where he now forms one part of arguably the greatest attacking trio ever assembled.
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