By Daniel Edu
Brazilian football star Neymar is reportedly close to making a move to Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal, marking another high-profile transfer from Europe to the Middle East.
The 31-year-old winger has given his approval for the move after his current club, Paris Saint Germain (PSG), agreed to the transfer. Neymar joined PSG from FC Barcelona in 2017 for a record transfer fee of €222 million.
Last season was challenging for Neymar, and there were calls from PSG fans for him to leave the club. Ahead of the new season, PSG made it clear that Neymar was no longer part of their plans.
While Neymar was initially interested in returning to FC Barcelona, financial constraints and the coach’s reluctance reportedly prevented the move. Although Chelsea showed interest in the injury-prone winger, his high salary demands made a move to the Saudi Pro League more feasible.
Al Hilal, a club seeking a major football superstar signing, managed to convince all parties involved to agree to the deal. As of now, Neymar’s six-year tenure with PSG is about to conclude.
Italian transfer expert Fabrizio Romano tweeted, “Al Hilal are preparing formal documents to be checked on Monday to get Neymar Jr deal done. Player already approved the move, two-year contract — lawyers will be on it. Al Hilal already booked medical tests; waiting for Ney’s camp’s final green light.”
Once the deal is finalized, Neymar is set to earn around €160 million per season, making him the third highest-paid player in the world behind Cristiano Ronaldo of Al Nassr and Karim Benzema of Al-Ittihad.