Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has revealed that Neymar would have cost the club €150 million [£128m] had they secured the services of the Brazil international.
The Santiago Bernabeu side were keen to lure the 21-year-old to the Spanish capital ahead of the 2013-14 campaign, but the player eventually snubbed los Blancos in favour of a move to Barcelona.
"Neymar would have cost the club €150 million," Perez told Cadena Ser.
"We had the chance to sign him three years ago, but there were lots of conditions now."
The Madrid president then went on to voice his opinion that Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world, although he admitted that he would not hesitate to bring in Lionel Messi from Barcelona if given the chance.
"Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world. I'd like him to be world's best paid and to build a team around him.
"Messi? If I had the chance, of course I would try and sign him..."
Perez also took the time to discuss the future of Xabi Alonso, who has been linked with a move away from Madrid in recent weeks.
"We are delighted with Xabi Alonso. Replacing him will be a problem in the future, but we hope to have him another year or more yet."
The 66-year-old then revealed that Madrid have yet to receive an official offer for Gonzalo Higuain amid strong interest from Juventus, while they will re-sign Dani Carvajal from Bayer Leverkusen this summer.
"Juventus have not made an official offer for Higuain as of yet.
"Carvajal? He will return to Real Madrid this summer."
The 21-year-old defender left Madrid for Leverkusen last year, but los Blancos will exercise their buy-back option to bring him back to the Bernabeu ahead of next season.