Transfer Gossip: Mbappe, PSG extension not ruled out as Neymar is ‘tempted’ by Saudi riches despite Barca interest

There is a chance Kylian Mbappe signs a new contract in Paris, while two Brazilian teammates are linked with transfers. Here’s Sunday’s Gossip…

NEY WAY, MAN
As Paris Saint-Germain try to enter a new era under Luis Enrique, they have reportedly made Brazilian superstar Neymar surplus to requirements. The 31-year-old was not in the squad as they got their 2023/24 campaign underway with a 0-0 draw at home to Lorient which is the most significant indication yet that he will leave before the summer transfer window closes – especially as he hasn’t really done anything wrong in the eyes of the club’s owners, unlike bad boy Kylian Mbappe…more on him later.

A return to Barcelona has been mooted but the La Liga champions cannot afford whatever fee PSG want, which is not a surprise given their well-documented financial woes. This has opened the door for Al-Hilal to make the statement signing they have been craving for months having missed out on Lionel Messi, Mbappe and Napoli’s Victor Osimhen.

There have been many reports about Neymar and Al-Hilal over the weekend and one from Foot Mercato’s Santi Aouna states the Saudi Pro League side have put a contract worth over €100million a year on the table. Neymar’s father has accepted the offer on his son’s behalf and Al-Hilal are feeling confident the player will give the ‘green light’.

No fee has been agreed between PSG and Al-Hilal, although that should not be a problem. It is added that Barcelona did make Neymar an offer despite a ‘reluctance’ from Blaugrana boss Xavi to reunite with his former teammate.

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Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has said Neymar is ‘tempted’ by the Saudi proposal with talks now ‘very advanced’.

JUST SOLD YOUR STAR…
If Manchester City weren’t already pushing hard to sign Lucas Paqueta from West Ham, they will be now. In their opening Premier League fixture against Burnley on Friday, Kevin De Bruyne suffered another hamstring injury and was forced off in the first half, which set off a collective groan of realisation over at the Hammers headquarters.

Ex-Lyon midfielder Paqueta is an excellent midfield player who struggled to adapt to English football after a £40million move to the London Stadium last summer. His turbulent maiden campaign at West Ham has not put off Premier League and European champions, Manchester City, who have reportedly made an £88m bid for Paqueta.

Coming out of talkSPORT is a report that City will ‘step up their interest’ in Paqueta following De Bruyne’s latest injury setback. Pep Guardiola now sees the Brazilian international as a ‘priority signing’ and West Ham are ‘not confident’ they will be able to keep hold of their star player, meaning they will probably lose Paqueta and Declan Rice in the same summer. Ouch.

MORE MBAPPE DRAMA
Incredibly, when all hope appeared to be lost in the French capital, Kylian Mbappe could sign a new contract at PSG.

This is according to Spanish outlet AS, who say there is ‘optimism’ the ‘soap opera’ will end up with Mbappe agreeing fresh terms. A release clause is what has changed things and even though Mbappe has rejected any offers put on the table by the French club, the ‘door is not closed’ and the France captain ‘will listen’ during contract negotiations.

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It is quite the U-turn, but it is believed the relationship between PSG and Mbappe is no longer broken and the player will meet with the club’s hierarchy ‘in the coming days’.

Like Neymar, Mbappe was not included in PSG’s squad for their Ligue 1 opener at home to Lorient, watching from the stands next to his new club teammate, Ousmane Dembele.

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