Madrid: Real Madrid were preparing to try and sign FC Barcelona’s Brazilian striker Neymar before he signed a new contract with the football club in October, according to the player’s father.

Speaking to the Barcelona based ‘El Mundo Deportivo’ newspaper, Neymar Senior confirmed that “Real Madrid showed their interest through intermediaries” before his son signed a new deal extending his stay at the Camp Nou until 2021 and progressively raising his buyout clause to 250 million euros (around $280 million), reports Xinhua.

Neymar’s father insisted that his son was never informed of the interest.

(Also Read: Cristiano Ronaldo named world’s best footballer, wins Goal 50 award)

“The offers didn’t reach him; they came to me. I know what Neymar wanted and that was to stay,” he said, adding that in order to get Neymar Jr away from Barcelona, “you have to try to take away the happiness that he has here.”

“If he wanted to chase financial benefits, everyone knows he would not be at Barca. But Neymar is happy where he is and has made some strong friendships.”

Neymar Sr nevertheless highlighted the cost of prising the 24-year-old away from the club he joined in 2013.

“I always said the same thing to everyone: if Neymar leaves Barca, you have to pay the 190 million euros (approx $206.27 million) release clause, plus the taxes on that money. And with everything else, it would end up being 430 million euros (approx $467 million),” he explained.