Chelsea once nearly signed Neymar and would had made ‘Michael Jordan’ promise
Chelsea were reportedly close to signing Neymar when he was compared to the basketball legend by the then director of football.
The club almost reached an agreement with the Brazilian after a few words spoke by their former director of football, Michael Emenalo. He claimed that Neymar would be as great as Michael Jordan if moved to west London.
According to football lawyer Marcos Motta in quotes published by The Guardian, Emenalo’s speech caught the attention of Neymar’s father, Neymar Santos Snr.
“It was the first time that I saw Neymar’s father listen to someone for more than 30 minutes without looking at his mobile,” he explained.
However, an initial meeting in New York between Chelsea officials, agent Pini Zahavi and Santos president, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro had not gone well. Due to the denial of the agreement, Real Madrid made a quick move and submitted a £38 million bid.
But despite both clubs’ interest, Neymar chose Barcelona and he signed a deal with them in 2013. During his Barca stint from 2013 to 2017, he scored 105 goals in 186 appearances across all competitions.
The 29-year-old won two La Liga titles, three Spanish Cups, one Spanish Super Cup, the Champions League and the Club World Cup at the Camp Nou. In 2017, he movied to Paris Saint Germain for a world record fee of £200 million.