Neymar transfer news: Al-Hilal agree deal with Paris St-Germain for Brazil forward
Paris St-Germain (PSG) has finalized an agreement to transfer Brazilian striker Neymar to Al-Hilal of the Saudi Pro League in a deal valued at approximately 90m euros (£77.6m) plus additional bonuses. The move awaits Neymar's medical examination and required documentation.
Neymar, who had set a record when he transferred to PSG for 222m euros in 2017, didn't play in PSG's recent Ligue 1 match against Lorient. Coach Luis Enrique did not envision Neymar in his lineup for the forthcoming season. Neymar's departure aligns with PSG's shift from the 'Galacticos' approach of acquiring top-tier players for substantial fees, as seen with Lionel Messi's exit earlier in the summer.
While at PSG, Neymar earned about 25m euros (£21.6m) yearly. He represented the club in 173 games, contributing to their victory in 13 championships, including the 2020 Champions League final. Nonetheless, his tenure in Paris was marred by several ankle injuries. After a surgical procedure in March, Neymar had to pause his season, only getting back to practice in July. He also missed two games during the 2022 World Cup and the 2019 Copa America due to injuries.
This development on Neymar follows recent news that Kylian Mbappe might be renewing his contract with PSG after constructive discussions. Despite rumors of joining Real Madrid and being sidelined for the Lorient match, Mbappe might stay on. Notably, PSG had allowed Al-Hilal to negotiate with Mbappe following a record-breaking £259m offer.
This move is part of a broader trend of high-profile footballers, like Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, transitioning to Saudi teams. This signifies the Saudi Pro League's ambition to be among the global top leagues.
The Saudi Pro League's acquisition of another star player is a move some European clubs are quietly pleased about. Neymar's 2017 transfer to PSG had inflated transfer rates, but PSG couldn't secure the coveted Champions League title. The club has now realized that their previous 'Galacticos' strategy was not successful. Releasing Neymar from their payroll, especially after Messi's transfer to Major League Soccer, benefits their Financial Fair Play commitments. Neymar's new speculated salary seems to surpass his PSG earnings, making this a lucrative opportunity for him. Although injuries might have impacted Neymar's peak performance, like Messi, he can still produce remarkable moments on the field.