Neymar is leaving Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal. This means that the trio that dominated Europe have all left the continent.
European transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano tweeted “Neymar is going to Al-Hilal” with the words “HERE WE GO,” signaling a confirmed transfer. The big offer was delivered two days ago and all parties have signed the documents. Neymar will leave for 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 just under 100 million euros. The medical tests will be completed later today.”
Romano added: “All the paperwork has been completed. The medical has been passed. Neymar will fly to Saudi Arabia later this week. The contract is finalized and Neymar will join the Saudi Arabian league.” David Onstein of The Athletic in the UK also reported, “PSG striker Neymar is undergoing a medical ahead of his move to Al-Hilal. He will sign a two-year contract with Al Hilal. He played throughout PSG’s pre-season but was not in the club’s plans for the 2023-24 season under new manager Luis Enrique.”
“Neymar’s time at PSG has come to an end,” said French journalist Santi Auna of France’s Foot Mercato. It’s a bittersweet end to his career. He had a complicated season at PSG, was shunned by the fans and struggled with injuries. He’s going to Al Hilal, not Barcelona. Neymar will play alongside Malcom, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Leo Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly.”
Al Hilal is a prestigious soccer club in Saudi Arabia. They are the reigning champions of the Saudi Professional League, have won the King’s Cup 10 times, and have won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) four times. They are also the most decorated team in the ACL. Al-Hilal joins a frenzy of signings from Saudi Arabia this summer. The team failed to land Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe.
They have since signed Neves, Koulibaly, Milinkovic-Savic, and others. They also want to sign players like Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, Liverpool’s Luis Dias, Barcelona’s Zafinha, Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva, and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen. It’s clear from the list of signings and targets that Al Hilal doesn’t just want older players, but players in their prime.
Al Hilal’s greed has been rewarded with Neymar. It’s a signing that will help ease the disappointment of failing to sign Messi and Mbappe. Neymar arrived at Barcelona in 2013 after a breakout season at Santos. Neymar has become a world-class attacker, and his performances have been nothing short of spectacular. He formed one of the most powerful trios of all time with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He won numerous trophies for Barcelona.
After scoring 105 goals and providing 76 assists in 186 official matches for Barcelona, Neymar joined PSG in 2017 for €220 million, the highest transfer fee in soccer history. It’s a record that hasn’t been broken since, even in an extremely overheated transfer market. Despite being the most expensive player in history, Neymar’s six-year stay at PSG was somewhat underwhelming.
He was always at the top of his game, but he suffered from intense scrutiny and was often injured due to rough tackles. He was injured at crucial moments, which led PSG fans to criticize him. This was compounded by the fact that he was linked with a move to Barcelona every transfer window. After signing a new contract with PSG, the rumor mill quieted down, but then the possibility of a move to Barcelona surfaced again. The Mbappe saga has left PSG fans fed up with the transfer rumors.
Neymar recently returned to action in a preseason match against Jeonbuk Hyundai after being sidelined with an injury suffered in March. During the preseason, he showed great chemistry with new signing Lee Kang-in, and it’s been speculated that the pair will have a great season together. If Neymar goes to Barcelona, he will not be able to play with Lee Kang-in. Neymar was rumored to move to Barcelona, but ended up at Al Hilal.
With Neymar’s departure to Al Hilal, the MSN trio responsible for Barcelona’s renaissance have all left Europe. Messi played for PSG until last season, when he joined Inter Miami of the American Major League Soccer (MLS). Suarez was at Atletico Madrid after leaving Barcelona and has also played for Club Nacional and Gremio. He is currently the favorite to join Inter Miami.
Barcelona’s MSN trio and Real Madrid’s BBC trio, who faced off against each other, are both out of Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo went to Al Nasr after leaving Manchester United. Karim Benzema also opted for Saudi Arabia. After leaving Real, he went to Al Ittihad, who were also after Son Heung-min. At Al Ittihad, he played with N’Golo Kante and Fabinho. Gareth Bale left Real for MLS and then retired.
The trio that dominated Europe has all left the continent, leaving a bittersweet taste in the mouth. Meanwhile, Neymar’s departure is a huge blow to PSG. Although PSG won the French Ligue 1 last season, they were so unhappy with their performance on the pitch and in other competitions that they fired coach Christophe Galtier and hired Luis Enrique to rebuild. Mauro Icardi, Xavi Simmons, El Chadewicabou, Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, and others packed their bags at PSG. Manuel Ugarte, Artau Tenas, Cher N’Dour, Luca Hernandez, Lee Kang-In, Milan Skriniar, Marco Asensio, Gonzalo Higuain, and Ousmane Dembele are among the new faces in the PSG colors.
Even with all the new faces, PSG still needed Neymar to provide the centerpiece, and he’s no longer a PSG player. Neymar’s departure is a shame, as the team is facing offensive issues. Mbappe’s return is a welcome one. Mbappe re-signed with PSG last summer. It was a 2+1 year deal. It was a two-year base deal with an option for a one-year extension. Now, a year later, Mbappe has until July 31, 2023, to trigger the extension, which would extend his contract from June 2025 to June 2026. The deadline has already passed, and Mbappe has not triggered the extension.
There was talk of a pre-agreement with Real. It was reported that he had finalized an agreement to join Real on a free transfer next summer when he becomes a free agent. PSG were unhappy and publicly called for a re-signing. When asked about Mbappe at Luis Enrique’s unveiling press conference, president Nasser-Khelaifi said, “My position is clear. I don’t want to repeat myself. Mbappe has to sign a new contract if he wants to stay. We want him to stay, too. We don’t want to let the best player in the world go for free. We will never let him go for free. It’s a very clear situation.” 꽁머니지급
What did Mbappe’s camp have to say? Nothing at all. Outraged, PSG removed Mbappe from their Asian tour roster. While PSG traveled to Japan and South Korea, Mbappe remained in Paris. PSG waited until July 31 to sign an extension, but again, there was no answer. The deadline passed and Mbappe remained at PSG until June 2024 under his existing contract.
PSG categorizes Mbappe as a non-performing resource. They are treating him the same way as players like Julian Draxler and Giorginio Wijnaldum, who have already lost their trust. There are reports that he will be dropped from the squad when the season starts and will not be included in the UEFA Champions League (UCL) roster. Mbappe could have a full season to sit out, but he remains silent. Mbappe has now been demoted to the second team and, unsurprisingly, left out of the squad for the Lorient game entirely. He was expected to be out for the rest of the season if the current situation continued.
In addition, Loic Tanzi of France’s L’Equipe reported, “There has been a turnaround between Mbappe and the PSG board. Mbappe has rejoined Luis Enrique’s group and will play well for PSG this season. The two sides have reportedly reached an agreement in principle that Mbappe will not leave for free agency. PSG president Al-Khelaifi told his players on Sunday morning: ‘Mbappe is back,’ he said.”
“Mbappe has returned to first-team training,” PSG announced via the club’s website on Thursday. We had a very constructive and positive discussion with Mbappe before the game against Lorient and the player returned to first-team training this morning.” French journalist Fabrice Hawkins of RMC Sport said: “Mbappe will not leave PSG this summer. His return to training on Sunday morning is clearly not a minor matter. After weeks of confrontation between Mbappe and the PSG board, it is now clear that Mbappe will not leave the club this summer. Mbappe and PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi spoke without a mediator, and the final exchange was positive. Opening the door to a contract extension was a decisive factor in the player’s return to the first team. Mbappe will not leave the club as a free agent. PSG president Al Khelaifi broke the news to the PSG squad on Sunday morning. “The option for a contract extension remains open,” he said.