The Saudis have begun their pursuit of Neymar. Neymar will only consider a move to Saudi Arabia under these ‘conditions’.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are arguably the most active club in the transfer market this summer. In fact, there have been so many transfers and sales that the ‘rumors’ alone have filled the entire transfer window.
First of all, the “GOAT” Lionel Messi left the club. PSG even offered to re-sign him, but Messi was adamant and left via free agency. Sergio Ramos also left PSG around the same time. In response, the club brought in Lee Kang-in, Cher N’Dour, Luca Hernandez, Manuel Ugarte, Marco Asensio, and Milan Skriniar to fill the void.
The offense was also a priority. Gonzalo Higuain, who emerged as a superstar at the World Cup in Qatar, is officially a free agent, Ousmane Dembele is very close to a move, and Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randall Kolo Moani is also in the mix.
There’s a reason why PSG have been so aggressive in their search for a striker. The future of their ‘ace’ Kylian Mbappe is unclear. Mbappe, who has emerged as one of the best strikers in the world alongside Elling Holland, joined PSG in the 2017-18 season and has since become a club legend. He stood out in an ultra-luxury squad that included superstars like Messi, Neymar, and Ramos. With 212 goals and 98 assists in 260 games, Mbappe is at the top of the PSG scoring charts.
But recently, his future at PSG has become unclear. That’s because of his comments. After signing a contract with PSG last summer, Mbappe will become a free agent next summer. His contract included an option for a one-year extension, which PSG hoped he would exercise. However, Mbappe recently publicly stated that he would not extend his contract with the club.
This caught PSG off guard. This was far from the plan they had in mind. President Nasser Al-Khelaifi expressed his disappointment in a statement and even urged him to leave this summer if he wasn’t going to sign a contract.
PSG have taken Mbappe out of their plans completely. French outlet L’Equipe reported that PSG are hoping to build a team without Mbappe and have decided to no longer include him in their plans. PSG hierarchy have also publicly stated that they are prepared to go through the season without Mbappe. For now, Mbappe is still at PSG, but his departure has become an unstoppable phenomenon.
This has raised the possibility of further departures. Neymar, who formed the “MNM line” with Mbappe to lead PSG’s attack. Neymar, who emerged as one of the biggest stars of the 2010s behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi, has been with PSG for a long time. At Barcelona, he was part of the team’s peak alongside Messi and Luis Suarez, but his desire to be No. 1 led him to PSG. The transfer fee was a whopping €222 million. This is still the highest transfer fee of all time and is unlikely to be broken anytime soon. Neymar joined PSG and was the team’s ace until Mbappe arrived, and he’s now a veteran.
However, life at PSG was less than fulfilling. Due to frequent injuries, he never played more than 30 league games in a season and struggled in the UEFA Champions League (UCL). In the 2019-20 season, they reached the final, but it was a bitter pill to swallow as they were knocked out by German giants Bayern Munich.
Fans’ trust in the club was also slowly eroding. Despite his huge transfer fee and astronomical weekly wages, he was criticized for his lack of contribution to the team. In 2021-22, he was criticized by fans for his overall lackluster season, and in the second half of the 2022-23 season, he was even asked to leave the team alongside Messi.
In this situation, he was involved in transfer rumors. Neymar wanted to return to his ‘home team’ Barcelona. Neymar wanted to return to Barcelona, where he had spent his best years and where he had only good memories. After losing Dembele to PSG, Barcelona looked to strengthen their offense and began to explore the possibility of bringing Neymar back.
There were both positives and negatives. According to Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo, the club was looking at a number of options for Neymar. They claimed that Neymar’s presence would have a positive impact on the fans. “The presence of Neymar would have a positive impact on tourists visiting Barcelona and all fans who want to watch soccer, and it would also generate huge economic revenues,” the publication said.
On the negative side, there were concerns that he could dampen the atmosphere at the club. “Barcelona is not actively in favor of Neymar’s move, despite acknowledging that he can be a crack player,” said Mundo Deportivo. The club believes that Neymar would be a ticking time bomb in the locker room, so they think it’s better to maintain the current stable atmosphere than to take a risk and sign him.”
This was followed by reports that Neymar had asked PSG for a transfer. “Neymar told the club’s management last Sunday that he wants to leave PSG this summer,” French outlet L’Equipe reported. “Neymar has made it clear that he wants to leave the club this summer. He has three years left on his contract,” said Kaveh Solhekol of British outlet Sky Sports. Neymar wants to return to Barcelona, but the club’s financial problems make that difficult.”
He added an additional reason. “Neymar believes that he is not considered a key player by Luis Enrique as PSG rebuilds. PSG are considering selling Neymar to make room for younger players.”
In other words, the club is considering selling Neymar in order to rebuild. In fact, most of PSG’s signings this summer are either in their prime or in their early 20s with plenty of potential. Originally, PSG’s focus was on signing superstars to produce short-term results, but now they’re looking to move away from that.
“PSG want to end this Galactico culture,” Solhecoul said. I am convinced that the future of PSG is not centered on players like Kylian Mbappe or Neymar. The future of PSG is players like Dembele and Gonzalo Higuain. PSG wants players who are committed to the team. Neymar is the past, not the future.”
However, Neymar’s father denied that he had asked for a transfer. “Neymar’s father refuted that the player had asked for a transfer to PSG and criticized L’Equipe, which reported the story, as LE’fake,” according to Brazilian outlet PL Brasil.
Nevertheless, the transfer rumors continued. “PSG are ready to listen to offers for Neymar, who has made it known he wants to leave the club this summer,” Sky Sports reported on its official social media accounts on Aug. 8.
This is where the Saudis come in. Having signaled their ambitions by signing Cristiano Ronaldo last winter, the Saudis have been targeting a number of European players this summer. They recently tried to sign Messi and Mbappe, but both fell through. Messi headed to Inter Miami and Mbappe ignored Saudi offers. This brings us to the final piece of the ‘MNM’ puzzle: Neymar. “Al-Hilal is planning to send a delegation to convince Neymar’s father,” French journalist Santi Auna of Foot Mercato wrote on social media on September 9.
Spanish publication Sport also reported the same news. They were positive about Neymar’s chances in Saudi Arabia.
However, there was one condition. He would have to play for Barcelona for a year. “Neymar is not happy at PSG. If he can play for Barcelona on loan for a year, he will be happy to join Saudi Arabia this summer.”
The outlet believes that Neymar’s previous “request” to join the club has not been fulfilled. However, the player is said to be unhappy at PSG. “Despite the rumors, Neymar has not communicated to PSG that he wants to leave,” said Sport. However, he is unhappy in Paris. He began to consider a move to Saudi Arabia when he realized that other European teams could not afford his salary. Neymar’s entourage and the player himself are reluctant to end his career in the Saudi league, but if he could play for Barcelona on loan for a year or so, he would consider the possibility. It is also the only option for Neymar to return to Barcelona.”바카라사이트
Xavi Hernandez has spoken out about Neymar. During an interview after the game against Tottenham Hotspur, Xavi was asked about Neymar and gave an open answer. According to Barcelona news outlet Barça Universal, he said, “Neymar? I can’t talk about anything. He’s in another team. But the transfer market is open.”
If Neymar does leave PSG, it will be a disappointment for fans at home. Neymar took good care of Lee Kang-in, the newest member of the team. When he visited Busan, he made a good impression on the fans with his active fan service.