Chelsea chief Michael Emenalo came close to charming Neymar away from a move to Barcelona, it has been revealed.

A teenage Neymar was pursued aggressively by all the European giants while still playing for Brazilian side Santos.

But it was the Blues and owner Roman Abramovich who came closest to sealing his signature before he agreed to move to Barcelona.

Football lawyer Marcos Motta told the Guardian that Emenalo said during a tense meeting: “You are going to lead Chelsea to the top.”

He explained Emenalo’s captivating speech “was the first time that I saw Neymar’s father listen to someone for more than 30 minutes without looking at his mobile”.