Lokomotiv Moscow could have signed Neymar for ‘around €10m’, according to their former president.
Nikolai Naumov claims the Brazilian was spotted at a youth tournament in Mexico while the attacker was playing for Santos.
In the end, Lokomotiv opted against taking a punt on Neymar, who eventually joined Barcelona before PSG made him the world’s most expensive player last summer when they coughed up £198million to trigger his release clause at the Nou Camp.
Naumov, though, said there were “quite big doubts” at Lokomotiv when they discussed recruiting the Brazil star.
“We thought about whether or not it was worth buying Neymar,” former Lokomotiv president Nikolai Naumov told Sport-Express.
“We wanted to buy him. Our scouts watched the Brazilian. There were quite big doubts. First, he was too young. Second, it was unclear how he’d adapt to Russia… so we decided against getting him.
“It would have been around €10m, probably. You understand, paying so much for a youngster from another continent – you have to be careful with this sort of thing.
“Yes, we did lose in the final, but I didn’t notice that Neymar played any better than the others. Alan Gatagov looked just as good.”