Real Madrid have already turned down Neymar once

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If Real Madrid fail to complete the signing of Neymar this summer then they only have themselves to blame, as they had the chance to sign the Brazilian striker back in 2005.

Barcelona are already reaping the rewards of their South American scouting having moved in to sign Lionel Messi from Argentine side Newell’s Old Boys at the age of 12.

Neymar was the same age when Real Madrid were first made aware of the talents of Neymar and according to Madrid-based Spanish newspaper AS, a contract had been agreed between the two parties.

However, because of the problems that Real Madrid were encountering at the time, the deal was postponed.

The situation occurred in the summer period when Luis Figo, Walter Samuel and Michael Owen left the club, while Real Madrid were also busy recruiting Sergio Ramos, Robinho and Antonio Cassano.

But perhaps the biggest factor in the deal being cancelled was that president Florentino Perez was on the verge of stepping down from the position, citing that Real Madrid needed to be taken in a new direction and he was one of Neymar’s biggest fans.

A new striker is virtually guaranteed to arrive at Real Madrid this summer, although Neymar may be behind Sergio Aguero on the list of targets, while Emmanuel Adebayor and Didier Drogba are other names to have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid’s odds are 6/4 to win La Liga next season, but it may take more than a new striker if they are to reverse league positions with Barcelona.

If Real Madrid are successful in their chase for Aguero, this could open the door for Neymar to move to the Premier League, with Chelsea conceivably his most likely destination.

Alternatively, Neymar could move to Italy or even stay at Santos to continue his development for another season.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.