Neymar’s agent has told ESPN Brazil the Barcelona star “was close” to joining Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United this summer before finally signing a contract extension with the Catalan club.
Neymar, 24, prolonged his deal with Barca to 2021, but his representative, Wagner Ribeiro, has revealed that a big-money move elsewhere was discussed.
“He was close to joining PSG,” Ribeiro told Bate-Bola Debat. “He would have earned €40 million a year net.
“Neymar was also close to a spell at Manchester United, but he extended his contract to earn less at Barcelona because he wanted to stay at Barcelona.”
PSG, in search of a headline signing following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure to United, were reportedly ready to break the world-record transfer fee with a €190m switch.
Should the Ligue 1 champions attempt to secure Neymar’s services in the future, they would need to spend even more.
The Brazil international’s new deal, which runs through to 2021, has a €200m buyout clause after the first year, rising to €222m the following year and €250m by 2019.
Speaking to L’Equipe, an unnamed PSG source insisted there was no truth in Wagner’s statement.
“It’s totally false,” they said. “With employer contributions on top, that salary would have cost more than €60m a year. It’s obscene. Neymar used us to strengthen his hand with Barcelona.”
The sports daily added, however, that PSG’s deputy sporting director, Olivier Letang, had gone to Brazil at end of June to meet Neymar’s entourage.