De Gea, Neymar and the stars that got away from Real Madrid

Neymar PSG Real Madrid
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The Blancos have signed several of the game's biggest names over the years, but they have also missed out on their share of targets

  1. Robert Lewandowski
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    Robert Lewandowski

    Madrid have tried up to three times to sign the Polish striker, who has said no every time. Lewandowski himself has said that Blancos stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos have tried to recruit him over the years, but to no avail. 

     

  2. David de Gea
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    David de Gea

    The goalkeeper's transfer was practically sealed in 2015, with Keylor Navas even saying goodbye to his team-mates in the Madrid dressing room. However, Manchester United sent De Gea's contract late, and a faulty fax machine prevented the transfer from going through.
  3. Neymar
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    Neymar

    Madrid president Florentino Perez sent two emissaries to Brazil to ensure Neymar's signing, but the Santos star opted for a move to Barcelona instead in 2013. Last summer Perez was rumoured to be interested in landing the forward from PSG, but a transfer never materialised.
  4. Kylian Mbappe
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    Kylian Mbappe

    Perez tried to sign the teenage star when he was breaking through at Monaco, but Mbappe instead opted to remain in France and sign with PSG in 2017. Madrid continue to be linked with a big-money move for the World Cup winner.
  5. Paul Pogba
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    Paul Pogba

    Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has requested his club bring the France midfielder in but thus far he has remained at Manchester United. Pogba has continued to express his admiration for Zidane, so a move could still go through at some point.
  6. Fernando Torres
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    Fernando Torres

    Perez tried to sign the forward twice when he was starring at city rivals Atletico, but Torres said no both times. The striker eventually left Atleti, but opted for a move to England with Liverpool instead of staying in Spain.
  7. Ruud Gullit
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    Ruud Gullit

    Former Real Madrid chairman Ramon Mendoza thought he had tied up ​Gullit's signing, only for Silvio Berlusconi's AC Milan side to swoop in and land the Dutch star instead in 1987.
  8. Julen Guerrero
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    Julen Guerrero

    Madrid conducted negotiations with Athletic Club to sign the attacking midfielder, but Guerrero opted to stay a one-club man and remain with Athletic for the entirety of his career.
  9. David Silva
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    David Silva

    Real Madrid were heavily linked with a move for Silva when he was starring with Valencia but, at the last minute, the Spain international reversed course and signed with Manchester City in 2010. Silva has gone on to become a club legend at the Etihad. 
  10. Patrick Vieira
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    Patrick Vieira

    Former Madrid president ​Lorenzo Sanz made Vieira his top target for two years in a row, but the France midfielder opted to stay in north London. 
     
  11. Luis Suarez
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    Luis Suarez

    Madrid were hot on the trial of the Uruguay forward when he was starring for Liverpool, but Suarez ended up spurning the Blancos in favour of a move to their rivals Barcelona. 
  12. Sergio Aguero
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    Sergio Aguero

    Like Torres, Madrid believed they had a great chance to land a star striker from city rivals Atletico. Also like Torres, Aguero ended up opting for a move to England – joining Manchester City in 2011.
  13. Steven Gerrard
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    Steven Gerrard

    The Liverpool midfielder has admitted that he was close to joining Madrid during their "Galacticos" era. But despite nearly moving in 2005 and again in 2009, the star midfielder opted to stay on Merseyside. 
  14. Lothar Matthaus
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    Lothar Matthaus

    Real Madrid targeted the German midfielder for several summers, but the World Cup winner never ended up making the move to the Bernabeu.
  15. Francesco Totti
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    Francesco Totti

    Madrid made two separate moves for the Roma legend – once in 2001 and once in 2004. Totti has admitted he was very close to making the move but at the last minute he opted to stay with Roma, where he would spend his entire career.
  16. David Villa
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    David Villa

    One of Madrid's biggest transfer regrets is missing out on Villa, who would star for three of the club's biggest rivals: Valencia, Barcelona and Atletico.