Neymar attracting interest from Saudi Arabia as Xavi rejects Barcelona return

Neymar is the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia
Neymar is the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia / Clive Rose / Getty Images

Neymar's representatives have held talks over a move to Saudi Arabia, 90min understands, with a shock return to Barcelona ruled out by manager Xavi.

The 31-year-old has two years remaining on his Paris Saint-Germain contract, with the Ligue 1 giants having the option to extend by a further 12 months.

But the flamboyant Brazilian has been targeted by a section of PSG supporters who are disgruntled with his on-field performances and there were recent protests outside of his house by ultras demanding he leave the club this summer.

90min revealed at the beginning of May that Newcastle's owners, PIF, were exploring the possibility of taking Neymar to Tyneside - a potential first blockbuster signing in the North East as they build on the success of qualifying for next season's Champions League - and it's believed that he would prefer to remain in Europe if he leaves PSG.

However, sources have confirmed to 90min that talks have been held with Neymar's representatives by a delegation representing the Saudi Pro League, who are interested in making him the next marquee arrival in the Middle East.

Karim Benzema joined Al Ittihad from Real Madrid on a three-year deal on Tuesday, while N'Golo Kante and a host of other players are also being offered huge sums of money to follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Al Nassr at the back end of 2022 to elevate Saudi Arabia into the footballing limelight.



90min further understands that Neymar has been offered to Barcelona - who missed out on re-signing Lionel Messi after he opted to join Inter Miami - but manager Xavi has denied having any interest in re-signing him, telling Twitch channel Jijantes FC of the rumours: "I’m surprised… he’s not in our plan.

"I really like Ney as a friend, but we have different priorities."

Neymar previously spent four trophy-laden seasons at Camp Nou between 2013 and 2017, winning a famous treble in 2015, before making a world record €222m move to PSG. He has won a catalogue of Ligue 1 titles in the French capital, but has been unable to help PSG win a maiden Champions League crown despite playing alongside Messi and Kylian Mbappe for the last two seasons.

Much of Neymar's time in Paris has actually been spent on the sidelines injured, with various ailments limiting him to just 112 Ligue 1 appearances in six full seasons at the club.

Manchester United and Chelsea are also being kept informed over Neymar's situation, 90min can confirm, with PSG willing to sanction an exit this summer should they receive an offer in the region of £75m.


On this week's edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss Ange Postecoglou's appointment at Spurs, Man Utd chasing Rasmus Hojlund, Harry Kane to Real Madrid, Lionel Messi & more!

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