Agent reveals Santos prodigy Neymar came close to joining Real Madrid in 2005

The Brazil forward arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu for a 10-day trial as a 13-year-old when Robinho joined the club, but contractual issues prevented a move from going ahead
Real Madrid wanted to sign Neymar in 2005, according to the agent of the Brazilian forward.

Reports in both Marca and AS suggest Madrid are about to make a move for the talented Santos striker, but a deal could have happened six years ago, when the player came over for a 10-day trial and impressed bosses at the Bernabeu.

Back then, Neymar had been brought over by agent Wagner Ribeiro as one of his other clients, Robinho, signed for Madrid.

"I know the president [Florentino Perez] wanted to sign Neymar in 2005, when he trained for 10 days at Valdebebas," the agent told Cadena COPE.

Contractual issues meant a deal could not be reached but Ramon Martinez, then head of Madrid's youth development, says the Brazilian was the most talented player he had ever seen at his age.

"He came over one day directly from Brazil, from the airport, and we sent him out to train. And we marvelled at his ability - he seemed like an extra-terrestrial," the coach told Marca.

"The next day, we put him with kids two years older than him, and he still looked like an extra-terrestrial. We could say that, at that age, no kid on trial had dazzled us as much as he did."

Neymar, now 19, looks set to move on this summer - and he has won the vote of former Madrid legend Ronaldo.

"He's my successor. He has immense talent and an ample margin for improvement, both physically and technically," the former Brazil star said yesterday.

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