Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, has revealed that Neymar underwent a medical at Real Madrid before signing for the Blaugrana instead.
Real president Florentino Perez had made the Brazilian star his number one transfer target. But when it became clear that Los Blancos would lose Neymar to their fiercest rivals, the club issued a statement suggesting that they were not prepared to break their wage structure to sign him.
But Rosell is now telling a different tale altogether.
With more than a smidgen of glee, he told TV3 that Madrid had attempted to hijack Neymar’s move to Barca even has the player had his contract with the Spanish champions in front of him, with a pen in his hand.
"When we reached a pre-agreement with Neymar’s father, the player had already passed a medical with Real Madrid," Rosell explained.
"We joked that we could save ourselves the money of doing the tests ourselves.
“When we were already signing the contract, Madrid was sending emails to Santos.”
It is somewhat ironic that Real claimed to steer clear of Neymar because of his price, but were happy to spend almost double the amount to bring Gareth Bale to the Bernabeu.
And it is even stranger to consider that Real’s assistant coach, Zinedine Zidane- who consistently sang the praises of the Welshman during Real’s record-breaking pursuit- now suggests that “a player is not worth” the massive fees that transfers dictate these days days.