Former Santos president confessed Chelsea was about to sign him in 2010
The former president of Santos, Luis Alvaro Oliveira, has confessed to the newspaper Sport that Chelsea was the first major European club who tried to sign Neymar. It was in August 2010, coinciding with the first call for Neymar with Brazil National Team, when he was only 18 years old.
Chelsea's owner, Abramovich, made an offer of €30 million, five million less than the termination clause and wanted then to have a meeting with the player himself and his father, his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, a lawyer of the English club and two representatives working for Chelsea. In addition, the proposal also included school for Neymar's sister, a job for his parents and a lot of benefits."
The former president asked Neymar's father to present a counter offer in 15 days and asked the father asked for a career plan for the young striker, increasing of salary and participation record and image rights. At that moment a group of professionals gathered to advise the player and Santos began working with his father to seek additional income.
The player had not signed the contract yet when Santos president discovered that Neymar was about to go to London: "We knew that the emissaries of Chesea were going to pick him up at the airport after a match in southern Brazil. We sent a car to take Neymar to one of the directors' home, and there we signed the new contract..."