Can we no longer see the ‘Kang In-mar (Lee Kang-in and Neymar)’ combination that Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) introduced in Korea in early August? The transfer of Neymar (31) is getting closer.
Reporter Fabrizio Romano, who is familiar with the European football transfer market, said on his social media (SNS) on the 13th, “Al-Hilal (Saudi Arabia) has made an important offer to Neymar in the last few hours. Sources described it as a ‘tremendous offer’. “Neymar is also considering an offer,” he said.
On the same day, RMC Sport also said, “Neymar is close to going to Saudi Arabia. The agreement between the clubs has been completed, and the player has also accepted the trip to Saudi Arabia.”
Neymar, who left FC Barcelona (Spain) for a transfer fee of 222 million euros (approximately 323.6 billion won) in 2017 and wore a PSG uniform, played 173 games, scoring 118 goals and 77 assists.
The problem is the number of entries. Neymar has been plagued by a series of injuries not only from rough tackles in French Ligue 1, but also from opponent checks in major national championships. Neymar played 186 games in 4 seasons at Barcelona, but played 173 games in 6 seasons at PSG. His minutes played per game are also lower than in his time at Barcelona. In particular, Neymar has never played more than 30 games in the league since his PSG entry. His most record was 22 games played in the league in the last 2021-22 season.
The photo shows Neymar (left) and coach Luis Enrique (right) during their Barcelona days. Photo = Getty Images
Although it showed excellent attack point production, it is difficult to overestimate the fact that it was a league 1 with relatively low competition. In the 2022-23 season, he started the season without injury, raising expectations by scoring 7 goals and 6 assists in the first 5 league games, but ended the season early due to an ankle injury in February. The European Football Federation (UEFA) Champions League (UCL) also failed to play a big role.
After the 2022-23 season, PSG parted ways with coach Christophe Galtier and left the helm to coach Luis Enrique, starting a new plan. Young blood was transfused into the somewhat less creative midfield, and especially Lee Kang-in joined the team, raising expectations. However, the conflict with Kylian Mbappe, who was named in the transfer rumor, was a problem. Mbappe has officially announced that he will not sign an extension contract with the club ahead of the summer transfer window.
PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi even said in public when Enrique took office, “If you want to play for PSG, you have to sign a new contract,” but nothing has changed. PSG even put a river in the pre-season Asian tour excluding Mbappe.
However, during the pre-season, PSG clearly felt the absence of a forward striker. Coach Enrique’s unique pass football was confirmed, but the attackers, who lacked a sense of weight, swallowed regret. It was Neymar who filled that void. Initially expected to be able to return only in September, Neymar started and played full-time in a friendly match against Jeonbuk Hyundai on the 3rd, recording 2 goals and 1 assist. Following his unique skill, he cut Jeonbuk’s net with a quick shot, drawing cheers from domestic fans.먹튀검증
For PSG, Neymar’s revival is welcome. However, rumors of a breakup came out ahead of the season. On the 8th, L’Equipe said, “Neymar informed Chairman Al Khelaifi of his intention to leave,” and said, “His goal is to return to Barcelona.”
A day later, RMC Sport said, “Neymar and Marco Verratti did not attend the PSG media day prepared for the official French Ligue 1 photo shoot.” At the time, there was news that he was not called up due to injury.
Neymar was also excluded from the call-up list ahead of the opening game against Lorient on the 13th. Local media explained that he was affected by a cold and an injury. However, after the game that day, rumors of Neymar’s transfer came out once again, and the atmosphere seems to be leaning toward a breakup.
Meanwhile, PSG without Neymar and Mbafe drew 0-0 without scoring in the home opening game against Lorient. Lee Kang-in started as a right winger and showed off his presence. In particular, his unique dribbling was also successful three times. However, he was unable to score goals with his fellow players, Gonzalo Hamus and Marco Asensio. PSG recorded over 1000 passes, but in the end there was no ‘solver’.