Brazilian soccer star Neymar is the latest megastar to be linked to a move to the Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal—with some reports suggesting a deal has been finalized—after the Riyadh-based team’s failed attempts to sign Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe earlier this year.
According to ESPN, the deal, which would see the Brazilian striker move from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to Al Hilal, has already been finalized with the Saudi club agreeing to pay a transfer fee of nearly $100 million (€90 million).
Neymar has reportedly agreed to move to the Riyadh club on a two-year contract, with an option to extend to a third year.
If the deal goes through, Neymar will be the Saudi Pro League’s biggest signing since Cristiano Ronaldo joined rival club Al Nassr earlier this year.
Al Hilal and Al Nassr are two of the four Saudi Pro League clubs—along with Al Ahli and Al Ittithad—owned by the country’s sovereign wealth fund PIF.
The reported Neymar signing comes weeks after Al Hilal failed to sign his PSG teammate and French star Kylian Mbappe despite offering him a record $775 million (€700 million) one-year contract. According to reports, PSG had agreed to what would have been a record $332 million (€300 million) transfer fee for the French forward. Despite the record-shattering money on offer, Mbappe never seriously considered a move to Al Hilal, according to French media reports. Instead, the 2018 World Cup winner reportedly has his sights set on joining Spanish club Real Madrid in 2024, after his PSG contract expires. A similar attempt by the Riyadh team to sign 2022 World Cup-winning star Lionel Messi also failed after he chose to sign with Inter Miami.
$263 million (€222 million). That is the transfer fee that PSG paid Barcelona in 2017 to sign Neymar. The deal remains to this day the biggest-ever transfer fee in the history of club soccer.
According to our estimates, Neymar earned $85 million between May 2022 and April 2023, making him the world’s 12th-highest-earning athlete.
PSG agree €90m Neymar deal to Saudi side Al Hilal – sources (ESPN)
Kylian Mbappé Refuses Talks With Saudi Club Offering $1.1 Billion, Report Says (Forbes)