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Neymar turned down Chelsea to join Barcelona

Scott Heavey

And here you were thinking you'd never see a Neymar article here again. How wrong you are. As most of you know, Brazilian football's brightest hope has officially signed with Barcelona, laying to rest one of the most Odyssean transfer sagas in history. I think I wrote about him in the first month this site was live, back in August 2010. Now he's successfully navigated sea monsters, sirens and whirlpools to find his home, it doesn't seem like there's much left to say about him, as far as Chelsea are concerned. Except...

So that's interesting. It's difficult to know just when that bid was made, of course -- it could well have been years ago -- but what's clear is that Chelsea were very interested in Neymar and just couldn't get a deal done. I kind of wish we had. Although the 21-year-old has struggled to impress European audiences on the big stage, he has the raw ability to go a very long way, and I have no doubt at all that he'll be a big success at the Camp Nou, even if I'm not buying into the idea that he could someday be the world's best player.

But it never felt as though Neymar was coming to England, so it's hard to get too cut up about it. Competing with Barcelona for top-level prospects is difficult, and this was one of those times where we just couldn't get it done. Having the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Oscar, Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne kind of makes up for it.

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