Paris St-Germain (PSG) has reached an agreement to sell Brazilian forward Neymar to Saudi Pro League team Al-Hilal for approximately €90 million (£77.6 million) plus additional payments. This transfer is contingent on the 31-year-old passing a medical examination and completing all necessary paperwork.
Neymar, who joined PSG for a world-record fee of €222 million in 2017, was excluded from the squad for their Ligue 1 draw against Lorient on Saturday. He was not part of coach Luis Enrique’s plans for the upcoming season.
Neymar’s exit is in order with PSG’s strategy of moving away from the ‘Galacticos’ era of acquiring high-profile players for substantial fees and salaries; Lionel Messi also left the club earlier this summer.
Neymar’s earnings were reported to be around €25 million (£21.6 million) annually at PSG. During his time with the club, he made 173 appearances, aiding them in winning 13 titles, including five Ligue 1 championships and reaching the 2020 Champions League final. However, his tenure in France was marred by numerous ankle injuries. After undergoing surgery in March, he missed the rest of the season and only resumed training in July. At the 2022 World Cup, he missed two of Brazil’s matches after being injured in their opening group match. Additionally, he was absent from the 2019 Copa America due to torn ligaments in his right ankle, and he experienced a similar injury in 2021, causing him to miss several weeks.
News of Neymar’s deal emerges just 24 hours after PSG reintegrated Kylian Mbappe into first-team training following positive discussions. The French forward, 24, had been embroiled in a contract standoff over his desire to join Real Madrid, but he might now extend his contract at PSG, which expires next summer.
Mbappe was also omitted from the squad for the Lorient match and observed the game from the stands. Last month, PSG granted Al-Hilal permission to negotiate with Mbappe after the Saudi team made a record-breaking £259 million bid.
Should the transfer materialise, it will continue the extraordinary summer spending spree by Saudi clubs, underscoring the league’s aspiration to become one of the premier competitions globally in the coming years.
Several high-profile players, including Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, Ruben Neves, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino, have all moved to Saudi Arabia.
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr from Manchester United in January.