It was revealed by Wagner Ribeiro how Paris Saint Germain very nearly signed Neymar in the 2016 summer transfer. The president of the French club Nasser Al-Khelaif traveled to Ibiza on June 1 to negotiate and talk with the player and his father. Soon after the commercial engagement Ney had with Nike, he traveled to his home country to spend the rest of the break. It was also revealed that Nasser Al-Khelaif traveled to Brazil to negotiate with Neymar and his father.
According to Wagner Ribeiro in an interview with ESPN Brazil, the meeting in Brazil took place in Sao Paulo where the French club offered to pay 190 million euros for his release clause and 40 million euros for his salary annually for five seasons. The famous football agent claim he was the person who initiated the two meetings and was present during in the discussion.
“It was me who brought Nasser Al-Khelaif to Brazil in Sao Paulo, before then I also convinced Neymar to sign for Paris Saint Germain. What I told Neymar was the offer from PSG was the best any player on earth could get and that if he signs for the French side, he will become the highest paid player in the world. Ney stayed in Barcelona because he wanted to, not because of the money or deal Barca offered him during his contract renewal,” said Ribeiro.
He added “I really wanted him to move but he decided to remain in Barca. I think he’s happy staying in the club as well as the city. Although his father was keen on Neymar remaining in Barcelona. The president had assured Neymar that he would be the no. 1 man in his club which he’s still struggling to be one in the midst of Messi and Suarez in Barcelona.”
In the first meeting that took place in Ibizar, Neymar sounded positive to the President of the French club. Nasser Al-Khelaif had made available a luxury private jet that Neymar would fly with to Brazil. He also made available several 5 star hotel which would welcome the Brazilian and accommodate the Brazilian until his stay in Sao Paulo.
But the two meetings I arranged, we didn’t inform FC Barcelona. And of course, Barca was very aware of it. A source close to the club heard and informed them. He even went as far as giving them proof in real pictures.
The Brazilian agent stressed that Paris Saint Germain was the closest to signing the Brazilian attacker because their president spoke directly to the player unlike president of Real Madrid or owner of Manchester United who communicated through agents.