Neymar’s transfer to Al-Hilal is a done deal.
바카라사이트 France’s ‘Foot Mercato’ reported on the 14th (KST), “Neymar’s transfer to Al-Hilal is a done deal. According to our sources, he will head to Saudi Arabia. Last weekend, Al Hilal were trying to reach an agreement with Neymar and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), but for now, everything is over.”
“PSG and Al-Hilal have reached an agreement and the transfer fee will be just short of €100 million,” the outlet continued. Neymar will undergo a medical in the next few hours and will join the team later this week. Neymar’s contract will be for two years and he will receive an annual salary of €100 million.”
Transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano also tweeted on the same day: “Neymar is moving to Al-Hilal. He will fly to Saudi Arabia this week. It’s a two-year deal and he will wear the number 10 shirt. PSG will receive a transfer fee of less than €100 million. The medical tests will be completed today,” he added, adding the phrase “HERE WE GO,” which he uses when a transfer is imminent.
Neymar left Brazil to join Barcelona in 2013. He formed the ‘MSN’ line alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez to spearhead Barcelona’s attack. With them at the centre, Barcelona won numerous trophies. Neymar won two Spanish La Liga titles, one UEFA Champions League title, and three Copa del Rey titles during his four years at the club.
Neymar’s move to PSG became the ‘transfer of the century’. In the 2017-18 season, PSG paid a whopping €220 million for Neymar. It was the most expensive transfer in the history of the world. Neymar’s signing was part of the club’s project to win the UCL, and Kylian Mbappe was brought in a short time later for similar reasons.
And it paid off in a big way. In 2019-20, with Neymar, Mbappe, and others performing well, PSG reached the UCL final for the first time in their history. They lost the title to Bayern Munich, but it showed promise. Neymar has since signed a new contract with PSG until the summer of 2025, signalling his commitment to the club’s goals.
Neymar scored 13 goals and provided 11 assists in 20 Ligue 1 appearances last season. He was averaging more than one attacking point per game and was performing well, but he suffered an injury in late February that ruled him out for the season.
Then came the problem. Neymar was blamed by PSG fans for Messi’s unauthorised visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of the season. In the past, whenever PSG has performed below expectations in the UCL, Neymar has been heavily criticised by fans. This time was no different. Fans even went to Neymar’s doorstep and shouted at him to leave.
Photo: Sports Illustrated
It was claimed that Neymar had lost patience with the behaviour of PSG fans. Indeed, rumours have emerged that he is considering leaving this summer. Neymar was linked to Manchester United, Chelsea, and other clubs, but his own words seemed to put an end to the rumours when he confirmed his intention to stay at PSG.
“I hope to play for PSG in the upcoming season. I have a contract with PSG and no one has told me otherwise. Even if there is no love between PSG fans and players, I will stay.”
PSG have made a managerial change ahead of next season. Christophe Galtier is out and Luis Enrique is in. Enrique is no stranger to winning UCL titles, something PSG are keen to do. He won the triple in 2014-15, finishing at the top of La Liga, the UCL, and the Copa del Rey. Neymar was also playing at the time.
Neymar has been preparing for pre-season with his old coach Enrique and a new squad. Despite not playing much due to the injury he suffered at the end of last season, he was seen enjoying training with the players. His chemistry with Lee Kang-in was particularly noticeable.
The two exchanged jerseys after the round of 16 at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. At the time, they had only played head-to-head, but their friendship grew rapidly after joining PSG. They were next to each other in a group photo taken in front of the plane before their tour of Japan, and were seen getting off the plane together. Lee and Neymar were also seen joking around on the training ground.
After missing all three games in Japan due to injury, Neymar started the match against Jeonbuk Hyundai and scored a brace in the full match. His first goal, a sensational individual effort, was a reminder of why Neymar is a world-class player. Until the Jeonbuk game, Neymar had looked like a player in PSG’s plans all season.
Amidst all this, transfer speculation has arisen. “Neymar told PSG last weekend that he wanted to leave the club this summer,” according to France’s L’Equipe. Neymar’s father gave an interview in which he denied this, but things started to change quickly.
“Neymar has made it clear that he wants to leave the club this summer. He has three years left on his contract,” said Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol. Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, but the club’s financial problems make that difficult.”
He went on to give his views on PSG’s club policy. “Now PSG wants to end the ‘galactico’ culture that started with Neymar, Mbappe, etc. The club’s future plans will not be centred on those players. Rather, players like Dembele and Gonzalo Higuain will be the mainstay. PSG wants players who are committed to the team. Neymar is PSG’s past. He is not the future.”
Neymar’s current contract runs until the summer of 2025. It includes an option for a one-year extension, so he could have played for PSG for up to three more years, but for now, it looks like he’ll end his association this summer. A return to Barcelona could be on the cards, especially if Neymar himself wants it.
Photo: PL Brasil
José Álvarez Haya, a reporter for Spanish newspaper El Chiringito, said, “Barcelona have now reached a personal agreement with Neymar. He is ready to take a pay cut and his contract runs until 2026.”
However, a move for Al Hilal is likely. Al Hilal were the first team to try to sign Lionel Messi this summer. They tried to lure Messi with an astronomical salary, but he chose the US over Saudi Arabia. He currently plays for Inter Miami in the American Major League Soccer (MLS).
Photo via Sports Illustrated
Al-Hilal didn’t stop there and brought in a number of big-name players from Europe, including Neymar, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Malcom. They also recently launched a bid for Neymar’s team-mate Mbappe, but the Frenchman did not want to move to Saudi Arabia. However, the arrival of the world’s biggest star is finally imminent.
Romano previously reported, “The negotiations between Al-Hilal and Neymar are close to completion. The final documents will be ready. Al Hilal hopes to finalise the deal within 24 hours.” As far as we know, Neymar’s medical will take place in Paris.
Romano went on to say that the medical will be completed in 14 days. After the procedure, the player is expected to head to Saudi Arabia. Al-Hilal will host the opening match of the 2023-24 Saudi league on the 15th. Neymar will be unavailable then, but could be available for the second leg on the 20th.
Mbappe, on the other hand, has been confirmed to stay. Mbappe was left out of the Asian tour roster during pre-season and didn’t even join the first team training until recently. If anything, the tone of the preseason seemed to suggest that Mbappe would leave and Neymar would stay, but things have changed quickly.
Mbappe, in particular, seems determined to play for PSG again this season after positive talks with president Nasser Al-Khelaifi and coach Enrique. “The club has had a very constructive and positive dialogue with Mbappe. Mbappe has returned to first-team training,” the club announced.
In addition, French journalist Santi Auna of Foot Mercato reported on the 13th that “Mbappe and PSG have opened the door to a contract extension,” adding, “PSG’s plan is to propose a loan deal until the summer of 2025 with a guaranteed sale clause at the end of next summer’s contract. Both parties are positive about this.”
A re-signing is highly likely. According to the BBC, “Mbappe could sign a one-year extension. In that case, PSG would receive a transfer fee next summer and be able to sell him to other clubs, including Real Madrid.”