Roberto Mancini jokes that Zenit St Petersburg “also wanted to buy Neymar” ahead of his €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain.
The Brazilian forward today told Barcelona that he wants to leave, and his agent says the release clause will be paid this week.
Former Inter and Lazio Coach Mancini has brought several South American players to Zenit, and joked that he wanted to bring Neymar too.
“There is nothing unusual about this, many clubs buy football players from Latin America,” Mancini said in his Press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League second leg with Bnei Yehuda.
“Many clubs buy Brazilian players during the transfer window. We had an opportunity to buy some young, promising and very talented players.
“It so happened that most of them are from Argentina. I hope that they will help us win in our upcoming matches, I'm very glad that they have joined us.
“We also wanted to buy Neymar, but unfortunately PSG beat us to him!”