Team Profile: Manchester United
But the mammoth offer failed to lure the 20-year-old sensation to Old Trafford, who said he would stay at Santos until his country hosts the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The Red Devils turned to Neymar after losing out on midfielder Lucas Moura, 19, despite offering a huge 32 million bid. French giants Paris Saint-Germain signed the youngster for 38 million.
However, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will not give up on signing the striker during the January transfer window. Neymar has been linked with a move to several clubs like Chelsea, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Had the transfer taken place, it would have been the joint-highest fee paid for a player from outside the UK, with Manchester City's purchase of Sergio Aguero.
Meanwhile, striker Wayne Rooney's position at the club could be threatened with the arrival of Robin van Persie and with Ferguson eyeing many more recruits in the winter transfer window, the 26-year-old would have to fight for a place in the starting XI.
United have been busy in the transfer market taking their spending to nearly 45 million.