Paris Saint-Germain ended the Neymar Jr. era on Tuesday after the Brazilian left the capital club for Al-Hilal. However, the Saudi Arabian side wasn’t his first choice.
Neymar reportedly had his heart set on returning to Camp Nou. However, considering the Spanish club’s financial situation, it was bleak at best to see a reunion.
Barcelona’s new sporting director, Deco, confirmed they were exploring options for acquiring Neymar. Nonetheless, it was a failed investigation as the 31-year-old left PSG for Saudi Arabia.
“Everyone knows it would have been impossible to sign him,” Deco told Globo Esporte. “We needed an agreement with PSG, which did not happen. We tried to find a formula [a loan] with a Saudi club to have Neymar for at least a year. All refused and Al-Hilal signed him to keep him.”
Deco confirme que le Barça a envisagé de signer Neymar 🇧🇷 cet été :
« Tout le monde sait qu'il aurait été impossible de le signer. Il nous fallait un accord avec le PSG, ce qui ne s’est pas fait. Nous avons essayé de trouver une formule (un prêt) avec un club saoudien pour… pic.twitter.com/tprzXT2FQj
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) August 16, 2023
Still, manager Xavi Hernandez reportedly had no desire to have Neymar. It will be interesting to see if Barcelona revisits the Neymar file in two years once his contract with Al-Hilal expires.
When Neymar’s contract expires, it will be one year before the 2026 FIFA World Cup. Furthermore, the former PSG forward remains committed to the Brazilian national team.
As a result, he could look to play in Europe again before the tournament, which will likely be his last chance at winning a World Cup and ending the country’s drought.