Neymar rejects Real Madrid as Barcelona lead the race for the Santos forward

Los Blancos had been in pole position to sign the Brazilian, but the youngster was dissuaded by the arrogant attitude of Florentino Perez and the Catalans plan to take advantage

By Martín del Palacio Langer | Spain Chief Editor

Neymar will not be joining Real Madrid now or in future and the Brazilian now looks set for a sensational switch to Barcelona after Florentino Perez scuppered his side's chances of a deal for the 20-year-old forward due to an "arrogant attitude", can reveal.

As was widely reported last summer, Madrid were in the driving seat for Neymar's signature, but Florentino upset the Brazilian in a hastily arranged conference call, telling him he would not be guaranteed a place at the capital city club, which he described as the world's greatest.

The in-demand forward then chose to stay in Brazil and signed a new deal with Santos late last year, but decided he was keen on a move to Europe after all following his side's loss to Barcelona in the final of the 2011 Club World Cup in December.

His rejection of Madrid and admiration for Barca has since seen the Catalan club move into the frame for the forward and president Sandro Rosell flew to Brazil for talks with the youngster, assuring him he would be at home at Camp Nou.

Following a lengthy investigation and conversations with both agents and the clubs involved in the saga, can confirm all of the details from one of the most protracted transfer tales of recent times:

  • Madrid tried to sign Neymar as a 13-year-old in 2005 and renewed interest in 2009
  • Perez lent money to his agent, Wagner Ribeiro, on condition Neymar would join Real
  • Conference call was arranged last year to push through a deal but Perez upset Neymar
  • Neymar signed a new deal with Santos and was disassociated from Ribeiro
  • Sandro Rosell flew to Brazil and told the player he would be at home at Camp Nou
  • Barca are prepared to wait until 2013, which suits Santos; Madrid are out of the running

Read the full story here.