Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro, has confirmed Barcelona winger Neymar was close to joining Manchester United this summer.
The Brazilian was considering moves to both Man United and Paris Saint Germain, but ultimately decided to pledge his long-term future to the Catalan side, signing a five year extension.
Neymar arrived at Barcelona back in 2013 and has gone on to establish himself as one of the finest attacking players in world football, scoring 85 goals and claiming six major trophies with the Spanish side.
Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Ribeiro revealed that Neymar was close to joining Jose Mourinho at United.
“Neymar was also close to a spell at Manchester United,” he said, “but he extended his contract to earn less at Barcelona because he wanted to stay at Barcelona.”
Brazil as a footballing nation always seems to produce a ‘wonder-kid’ every now and again. YouTube becomes rife with clips – with the mandatory dubstep in the background – showing some lively winger decimating defenders.
More often than not, however, these players shrink when they come to a big European side. But not Neymar. After a slow start, the 24-year-old has quickly embraced the footballing elite of this world, bamboozling defenders with his immense speed and cabaret of unstoppable skills.
What impresses me above all, however, is his sheer confidence, mixed with some slight arrogance. Such an aura would have been a fitting compliment to Mourinho’s reintroduction of big personalities into the United squad, spearheaded, of course, by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.