Neymar Junior completed one more historical move in his career by joining Saudi side Al Hilal.

The agreement was completed on Monday morning after negotiations entered into crucial stages on Saturday late night, when Al Hilal sent an improved proposal to Neymar's camp and it changed the entire situation around the deal.

But why did Neymar decide to join Al Hilal? What happened behind the scenes?

First of all, it's important to clarify that both Neymar Jr and PSG wanted the same outcome this summer: part ways at all costs, because Ney was keen on new opportunity and PSG wanted to change as Nasser Al Khelaifi's project is changing in favour of new young players instead of big stars.

That's why Neymar's camp started to work on solutions between June and July, not easy when the player is under contract for more than €40m per season until June 2027.

The biggest dream of Neymar was to return to Barcelona, that's the reality. Also, Laporta really wanted to bring him back as well as all the people in the board with Mateu Alemany, Deco and vice president Rafa Yuste on the same page.

But so... what was the problem? The Brazilian made very clear to Barça that it was not going to happen as long as Xavi was the coach. 

Neymar Brazil to Saudi Arabia

This is the feeling of people close to Neymar's circle of friends; the manager situation has blocked the transfer to Barça, and of course the financial situation didn't help because Paris Saint-Germain were not open to letting him leave for free.

That's when Al Hilal understood that it was time to proceed, improve the proposal and bring Neymar Junior to Saudi league. Sources feel that the financial package offered and accepted by Ney is $300m in two years, $150m per season on a two year contract valid until June 2025 and with no option to extend.

That's how Al Hilal tempted Neymar, getting the final green light on Monday morning with the player set to travel to Saudi for the official presentation later this week.

He's gonna be the new number 10 and already had two videocalls with his new manager, the Portuguese Jorge Jesus who's taking care of the revolution at Al Hilal and will now have a dream signing with Neymar Junior.

Barcelona keep excellent relationship with Neymar's camp but the deal was not possible for this summer, while Manchester City were never interested in Neymar and talks never took place despite reports of negotiations.

Chelsea were offered the chance to sign Neymar back in June as PSG were already secretly looking for solutions, but they decided against that to "protect" investments made on young players they have in the squad like Mudryk who plays in the same position of the Brazilian star.

Also in MLS there was interest in Neymar; a club from Los Angeles called to be informed on conditions of the deal, but when Al Hilal came in with their final proposal it was simply impossible to reject or change this story.

Neymar is a new Al Hilal player, his medical was completed in Paris and it is time to sign documents this week.

Fabrizio Romano is an Italian sports journalist. He was born in 1993, he lives in Milan and has over 30 million followers in total on the major social networks.


He collaborates with 888sport, CBS Sports, Sky Sport, The Guardian and has been a transfer market expert since 2011. He will take care of a column dedicated to some "Behind the Scenes" of transfers.