Whenever Real Madrid set their sights on a player, they usually end up getting him. The biggest club in the world has a different kind of attraction that most players in the world seem difficult to reject. We take look at three players who nearly signed for Real Madrid.
Playing for Real Madrid is the ultimate challenge for most footballers and that’s why the Los Blancos always seem to have an advantage over others while buying superstars. However, sometimes the negotiations don’t go so smoothly and the deals fall over for Madrid. Dodgy fax machines, friendly relations with other clubs, players’ rejection all have obstructed some of the possible superstar moves to the Santiago Bernabeu.
The Polish international has been one of the most prolific poachers in the world in the past decade. Playing initially for Borussia Dortmund and then for their rivals Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski has shown incredible consistency and ability to step up in big games over the years.
Having scored four goals against Madrid playing for Dortmund in 2013, Florentino Perez set his sights on the striker. However, Lewandowski already had an agreement with Bayern that would see him move to the Allianz Arena in 2014. That’s when Perez decided not to go ahead with the deal to maintain the good relations that Real Madrid and Bayern Munich shared. Ultimately, the striker went to Bayern and has been playing at the highest level since. Another opportunity came in 2018 when Los Blancos identified Lewandowski as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo who left the club that summer. However, a final deal could not be made and the striker ended up staying at Bayern, a decision that he doesn’t regret.
David De Gea
Transfer deals don’t get as close as being completed as David De Gea’s move to Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2015. Following a disappointing 14/15 season, Rafael Benitez took charge as Madrid boss and he aimed to bring the Spanish keeper to the Bernabeu. The deal involved Keylor Navas going the other way to Manchester. Los Blancos did everything they could to get De Gea’s services but a dodgy fax machine meant that transfer fell through at the last moment. But this unfortunate turn of events didn’t turn out too badly for any party since De Gea enjoyed his best years at United after this failed move while Madrid won back-to-back-to-back Champions Leagues with Keylor Navas playing a vital role. But who knows how differently things would have turned out had the deal seen the light? In the end, he became one of the players who nearly signed for Real Madrid.
If any player has come close to matching the abilities of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the past decade then it has been Neymar. Despite playing for Madrid’s biggest rivals Barcelona, rumours linking him to Real Madrid have never gone away. Neymar’s relation with Madrid traces back to when the Brazilian was just 13 and had come to Madrid for trials but the then young Neymar decided against playing for Real preferring playing in his home country. Right before Barcelona signed him in 2013, their fiercest rivals tried their best to persuade him against joining the Catalan club but in vain.
Their latest attempt was in 2019 when Florentino Perez tried thrice but Paris Saint Germain’s president stood firm in rejecting any offer for the player. Currently, it seems that Neymar and Madrid were never made for each other and now it’s a little too late for any potential move to happen.
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