Expected to play with Lee Kang-in…Neymar leaves PSG for Al Hilal → 2-year contract + number 10

Neymar has moved to Al Hilal after showing signs of friendship with Lee Kang-in during the preseason.

Al Hilal announced the signing of Neymar through the club’s official channel on July 16 (KST). The deal is for two years and Neymar will wear the number 10 shirt in Saudi Arabia.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) underwent a coaching change this summer. Christophe Galtier, who led the team until last season, left and Enrique took over. He won the 2014-15 treble with Barcelona, reaching the top of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) in the process, which is what PSG is looking for.

Neymar was also playing at the time. Neymar joined Barcelona from Santos in Brazil in 2013 and quickly became a regular starter, playing alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez and playing a key role in the 2014-15 treble under Enrique. Neymar scored a whopping 10 goals in 12 UCL games.

After two more seasons at Barcelona, Neymar was ready for a new challenge. He moved to PSG and became the world’s most expensive player. At the time, PSG paid a whopping €220 million ($321.7 billion) for Neymar. Neymar’s signing was part of PSG’s project to win the UCL, and Kylian Mbappe followed a short time later for similar reasons.

It paid off. In 2019-20, with Neymar, Mbappe, and others performing well, PSG reached the UCL final for the first time in club history. They lost the title to Bayern Munich, but it was a significant achievement. Neymar has since re-signed with PSG until the summer of 2025, showing his commitment to the club’s goals.

Neymar scored 13 goals and provided 11 assists in 20 Ligue 1 games last season. He was averaging more than one offensive 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. Messi’s unauthorized visit to Saudi Arabia at the end of the season caused PSG fans to criticize Neymar. In the past, whenever PSG has underperformed in the UCL, Neymar has been heavily criticized by fans. This time was no different. Fans showed up at Neymar’s doorstep and yelled at him to leave.

In response, it has been claimed that Neymar has lost patience with the behavior of PSG fans. In fact, it was rumored that he was considering leaving this summer. Neymar has been linked to several clubs, including Manchester United and Chelsea, but he himself has said, “I hope to play for PSG next season. I have a contract with PSG. Even if there is no love between the PSG fans and the players, I will stay,” he said.

Since then, he has been preparing for the new season with coach Enrique. Despite not being able to play in any pre-season games due to the injury he suffered at the end of last season, he was seen enjoying training with the players. In particular, his chemistry with Lee Kang-in stood out. The two exchanged jerseys after the round of 16 match at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. At the time, they had only played head-to-head, but their relationship grew rapidly after joining forces at PSG.

Lee and Neymar were next to each other in a group photo in front of the plane before their tour of Japan, and were seen getting off the plane together. They were also seen joking around on the training field and on the benches of friendly matches. In an open training session ahead of a match against Jeonbuk Hyundai, fans chanted Lee’s name and Neymar walked over to say hello, grabbed his hand and shook it instead.

After missing all three games in Japan due to injury, Neymar started against Jeonbuk and played the full game, scoring multiple goals. His first goal, a sensational individual effort, was a reminder of why Neymar is a world-class player. Until the Jeonbuk game, Neymar looked like he was in PSG’s plans all season.

Amidst all this, transfer rumors have surfaced. “Neymar told PSG last weekend that he wants to leave the club this summer,” according to French publication L’Equipe. Neymar’s father gave an interview in which he denied this, and it looked like he would stay, but then things started to change.

“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 it’s not realistic due to financial issues.”

He went on to share 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 centered around 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 through the summer of 2025. It includes an option for a one-year extension, so he could play for PSG for up to three more years, but it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll end his association this summer. He was rumored to have reached a personal agreement with Barcelona, but financial issues prevented a move, and a new destination emerged.

Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal. Al-Hilal is the same team that tried to sign Lionel Messi this summer. They tried to lure Messi with an astronomical salary, but he chose the United States over Saudi Arabia. He now plays for Inter Miami in the American Major League Soccer (MLS). 꽁머니

Al-Hilal didn’t stop there, bringing in a number of big-name players from Europe, including Nabil Neves, Kalidou Koulibaly, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and Malcom. Recently, they even tried to sign Neymar’s teammate Mbappe, but Mbappe didn’t want to move to Saudi Arabia. However, when Neymar’s future became unclear, they immediately began negotiations.

The deal came to fruition quickly. Transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano announced on social media on March 13 that “the deal between Al-Hilal and Neymar is close to completion. The final documents will be ready. Al Hilal hopes to finalize the deal in the next 24 hours.”

A day later, Romano reported, “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 euros. The medical tests will be completed today,” adding the phrase “HERE WE GO,” which is used when a transfer is imminent.

Also, ‘Foot Mercato’ reported on Thursday, “Neymar’s transfer to Al-Hilal is finalized. According to our sources, he will head to Saudi Arabia. Last weekend, Al Hilal were trying to reach an agreement with Neymar and PSG, and for now, everything is over.”

“PSG and Al Hilal have reached an agreement and the transfer fee will be just under €100 million,” the outlet continued. Neymar will undergo a medical in the next few hours and should join the team within the week. Neymar’s contract will be for two years and he will receive an annual salary of €100 million.”

Finally, it’s official. Neymar played the full game against Jeonbuk, so he shouldn’t be in bad shape. Al Hilal will host Al Fayha in the second round of the league on the 20th. They have back-to-back games on the 25th and 29th. He could make his debut as early as August.

PSG has lost both Lionel Messi and Neymar, leaving Mbappe in the fold. Mbappe had been linked with a move this summer after he refused to extend his contract. PSG excluded him from their pre-season tour and didn’t include him in first-team training in an attempt to pressure him, but he refused to sign an extension.

However, he recently returned to training after a dramatic reconciliation with PSG. This has led to the possibility of a new contract. For now, with Mbappe confirmed to play this season, PSG will likely build their attack around him, with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Ousmane Dembele, Marco Asensio, and Lee Kang-In, all of whom joined the club this summer.

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