Santos president Jose Carlos Peres has revealed that his club tried to re-sign Neymar on loan from Paris Saint-Germain for the remainder of 2019.
Neymar's future continues to be called into question amid suggestions that the 27-year-old has played his final game for PSG.
Real Madrid and Barcelona continue to be linked with swoops for the Brazil international, who was not involved in his French club's Ligue 1 opener against Nimes at the weekend.
Santos president Peres has claimed that he attempted to bring Neymar back to the Brazilian club earlier this summer but a move was ultimately not possible.
"That was a possibility. It was complicated, of course, but it was an option. We tried to bring him here for six months until December. We spoke with people close to his father but it wasn't possible," Peres told Sport.
Neymar came through the youth system at Santos and went on to represent the club on 223 occasions, finding the back of the net 136 times in all competitions ahead of a switch to Barca in 2013.