Chelsea once tried to persuade Barcelona striker Neymar to join them with the promise of turning him into ‘their Michael Jordan’ by firing the club to glory in the Premier League and Champions League, a new report has claimed.
The Brazilian is one of the best footballers in the world at the moment, having won just about everything there is to win for the Catalan club since moving there in June 2013.
But Barca’s efforts to sign Neymar from his hometown club Santos was fraught with complications and tense negotiations, with some of the continent’s biggest teams also chasing him – including Chelsea.
According to a report in today’s Guardian, Blues billionaire owner Roman Abramovich sent technical director Michael Emenalo to Brazil to try and woo Santos into selling, with football lawyer Marcos Motta present.
Motta’s version of events at that time are told in today’s report and he is quoted as saying: “It was the very first time that I saw Neymar’s father listen to someone for more than 30 minutes without looking at his mobile.”
Apparently, Emenalo ‘told the story of the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. How Chicago was not a big team, but together they evolved into international icons. Neymar could become Chelsea’s Michael Jordan, Emenalo said. José Mourinho was about to return to the club as manager and he wants to sign you’.
Finally, Emenalo is quoted as saying: “You are going to lead Chelsea to the top.”
Sadly for Chelsea fans, Neymar didn’t opt for a move to London, despite Emenalo’s best attempts, and is currently the heir to Messi’s thrown at the Nou Camp.
Can you imagine what might’ve happened if they’d secured his signature?
How do you think Chelsea’s last few years would’ve panned out?