'My favourite team!' - Neymar responds to recent transfer speculation

  • Neymar reacts to recent rumours of a return to Santos
  • Superstar forward insists nothing it predetermined
  • Playing for Brazilian side again is still his intention though
Neymar is not thinking about his future beyond Al Hilal contract
Neymar is not thinking about his future beyond Al Hilal contract / Francois Nel/GettyImages

Neymar has denied there is any truth to recent rumours that he has concrete plans to return to boyhood club Santos, pledging his immediate allegiance to Al Hilal.

Hailing from Sao Paulo, the Brazilian superstar spent a decade with Santos – his home city's leading side – between the age of 11 and 21. He scored 136 goals in 225 games, winning the Copa Libertadores in 2011, and retains a love for the club. But going home isn't on the cards just yet.

It was claimed in Brazil in April that Neymar had told Santos officials during a dressing room visit ahead of their victorious Campeonato Paulista final against Palmeiras that he will rejoin them in 2025 when his Al Hilal contract is set to expire.

Speaking about it now, Neymar made clear that although it is a future wish, it's not already arranged.

"What they said is a total lie, there is nothing planned," the 32-year-old said, via ESPN Brasil.

Neymar still hopes to return to Santos one day / Helio Suenaga/GettyImages

"I have one more year on my contract with Al Hilal, I hope to have a great season because unfortunately I missed out on the last one and that's it.

"We're going to live little by little. We have a lot of time ahead of us. Santos is my favourite team, obviously I want to go back one day, but I don't have anything planned in my head."

After turning his back on European football after a decade with Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar managed only five appearances for Al Hilal before an ACL injury ended his 2023/24 season in October. Without him, the club still managed a record-breaking season, sweeping to the Saudi Pro League title with 31 wins from 34 games. Their run of 34 successive victories across all competitions between September and April was also a new world record for a top flight club.

Earlier in his career, Neymar had spurned big money advances from Europe to stay with Santos a little longer, having been invited to Spain to train with Real Madrid aged just 14 and later rebuffing interest from Premier League sides Chelsea and West Ham United.