Dani Carvajal has claimed Neymar said he would sign for Real Madrid when he trained with the youth team back in 2006.
The Brazil star was invited for a trial training session with the club 12 years ago before watching a first-team match from the president’s box at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The charm offensive ultimately failed, as Neymar returned to Santos before moving to Barcelona in 2013, but widespread reports continue to link the player with a move to Julen Lopetegui’s side.
The forward has been tipped to join Madrid for much of the last year after reportedly struggling to settle in France following last year’s world-record €222million transfer from Barca to Paris Saint-Germain.
And full-back Carvajal seems to think Neymar has always had it in his mind to play for Madrid in his career.
‘I remember Neymar perfectly well in the youth team,’ he told Libero. ‘He told us that he was going to stay and we all lifted him up and celebrated with him.’
Carvajal came through the Madrid youth system before rejoining the club as a 21-year-old from Bayer Leverkusen in 2013.
The Spain international has won 13 major trophies with the club, including four Champions Leagues, but he admits he would like to try his luck in the Premier League before he retires.
‘I do think about it,’ the 26-year-old said when asked if he has considered playing abroad. ‘And I am clear that I want to play in the Premier League. It is an experience that I really want to have.
‘I don’t want to be left wondering what it would be like. But, on the other hand, I would like to spend my whole career here, which would be something very nice, too.’