By 90Min
February 10, 2018

Every football fan is aware of the murmurings emanating from Neymar's camp about his supposed desire to leave Paris Saint-Germain.

The standard of football in Ligue 1 is often the source of debate - especially with the squad PSG have assembled - but according to reports in Russia, Neymar could very well have been plying his trade in colder climes back in 2008.

You're not reading that wrong. Lokomotiv Moscow president Nikolai Naumov told Sport-Express that his side had the option to land the Brazilian superstar for as little as £8m 10 years ago!

Instead of plucking the ex-Santos starlet away from his homeland, Naumov revealed that Lokomotiv opted to put their faith in their own youth product - Alan Gatagov - instead due to concerns over the former's ability to adapt to Russian football.

He said: "We thought about whether or not it was worth buying Neymar. 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.

(You may also be interested in 'Saddened' Neymar Appears to Hit Out at PSG Bosses Over Sale of Lucas Moura to Spurs)

"It would have been around £8m, 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."

With hindsight it's easy to look back and see what an opportunity Lokomotiv missed out on but, given the rough nature of that league and the weather, Neymar might not have been able to step up to the plate.

What was Lokomotiv's loss was Barcelona's and PSG's gain, however, and we're sure Neymar isn't losing too much sleep over this issue.

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