Brazil attacker was desperate to play alongside Messi at Barca.
FC Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has revealed that recent new signing Neymar rejected offers from a whole host of other big-name clubs from across the Continent last summer in favour of joining the Spanish champions instead, according to reports on Goal.com.
The hugely talented Brazil international moved to Camp Nou from Brazilian giants Santos in June on a five-year deal for a fee of £48.6 million, however, the Catalans’ supremo has now claimed that Barca’s arch-rivals Real Madrid, as well as the likes of Premier League big-spenders Chelsea and Manchester City, and the Bundesliga and Uefa Champions League winners Bayern Munich were all lining up to land the playmaker.
However, in the end it was the opportunity to play alongside the Fifa Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi in attack in Catalonia this season that ultimately helped make Neymar’s mind up for him according to Rosell.
“I spoke with his father when we met in Miami and we closed the deal there,” Rosell told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.
“There were four parties that owned his rights as part of the agreement and we had to agree with all of those, but in the end we closed the deal for €57.5m.
“The key was that the player wanted to come to Barcelona. It was not about knowing how to negotiate; he wanted to be play next to Messi and the rest of the team.
“Everything was based on that despite him having offers from Manchester City, Chelsea, Bayern and Real Madrid.
“Neymar’s a very humble, friendly guy, a great team-mate and a great player. He is not selfish on the ball, which is just what we want in a football player. Has has settled perfectly into the squad.”
The 21-year-old has already made an eye-catching start to his Barca career, with Neymar having registered an impressive three goals and six assists in total so far in his 11 matches in all competitions for the Liga giants, including two strikes and five assists in his seven league outings for the club to date.