Lokomotiv Moscow reject Neymar for just €10m in 2008 - FCNaija

International Edition By: Iseghohi Odianosen | 09/02/2018

Lokomotiv Moscow of Russia rejected an offer to sign Neymar for €10m in 2008 after the Brazilian excelled for Santos during the Mediterranean Cup youth tournament.

The Russian club hierarchy concluded that the transfer price was too costly and backed out of the deal.

The Russian club then placed trust in a promising youngster on their own books, Alan Gatagov – a decision which has been made to look rather foolish in hindsight.

"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."

By March 2009, Neymar was making his senior debut for Santos and taking the first tentative steps on a path that has led him to the very top of the game.

Neymar further shined for his Santos and European top clubs came knocking, as the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona rival each other for his signature.

Barcelona won the race for his signature in 2013 and the Brazilian has won major trophies with the La Liga giants, and added another 105 goals to his tally, the 25-year-old then became the most expensive footballer of all-time when heading to France in the summer of 2017.


Gatagov struggled to fulfil his early potential and has been without a club for almost a year now after parting company with Estonian outfit Levadi Tallinn in February last year.