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Neymar poised to become a member of Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal football club


According to Saudi official media, Brazilian striker Neymar is on his way to Saudi Arabia after Al Hilal of the Pro League and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) reached an agreement on a two-year contract.

The Qatar Sports Investments-owned Ligue 1 champions have not yet responded, but the French publication L’Equipe said that the transaction might bring the 31-year-old Neymar 160 million euros ($175 million).

The transfer fee, with add-ons, was said to be around 90 million euros ($98 million), subject to passing a medical.

According to sources close to the operation, Neymar had a medical on Monday in Paris and scheduled to be in Riyadh on Wednesday to be introduced to the crowd at King Fahd International Stadium.

On Saturday, Neymar will play for Al Hilal against Al Fayha under the direction of Portuguese coach Jorge Jesus.

Neymar, who transferred to PSG in 2017 for a record-breaking $242 million from the Spanish club Barcelona, was unable to play against Lorient on Saturday owing to a viral ailment.

The Brazilian has 118 goals in 173 games and five Ligue 1 championships to his name. He signed a contract to continue in the French capital until 2025.

However, injuries have plagued him during his tenure at the club, and as a result, he is no longer regarded as a crucial member of coach Luis Enrique’s squad. This is because players like Goncalo Ramos, a 22-year-old Portuguese striker, have changed the team’s look.
Neymar had intended to return to Barcelona on a loan deal, according to multiple reports, but the Spanish side’s financial difficulties had rendered that unaffordable.

Kylian Mbappe, a France international who was recently re-instated into PSG’s first team, has been a target for Al Hilal.

Mbappe believed to have shown his devotion to the team. The club has given him a contract with a “guaranteed sale” clause that would enable him to sign with Real Madrid for a price next summer. The team believed Mbappe was planning to let his contract expire, which would have given him the opportunity to leave Paris and go with Real on a free transfer the following year.

Ruben Neves, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Kalidou Koulibaly, and Neymar’s fellow Brazilian Malcom make up Al Hilal’s current roster of four foreign players who were recently recruited from Europe.

The Argentinean Lionel Messi, who chose to sign with Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami, was supposedly also a target for the Saudi team.

Al Hilal is the most successful club in Asia and Saudi Arabia, having won 66 trophies including the most league and Asian Champions League titles (18 and 4 respectively).

As the Saudi Public Investment Fund announced in June an investment and privatization scheme for sports clubs involving league champions Al Ittihad, Al Ahli, Al Nassr, and Al Hilal, strengthening the team is a top objective for the Riyadh-based club.

After spent close to $500 million attracting a number of elite players and coaches from European powerhouses, the Saudi Pro League season began on Friday.

Last season, shortly after the World Cup, Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Al Nassr, making him the highest-paid athlete on earth. Meanwhile, Karim Benzema acquired by Al Ittihad from Real Madrid.

Riyad Mahrez, Edouard Mendy, and Roberto Firmino are all Champions League champions who joined Al Ahli.

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