Lionel Messi could join Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia as reports suggests his father Jorge is in Riyadh amid a potential transfer deal worth £245M.
In his first game since winning the World Cup last month, Messi scored a goal for PSG on Wednesday, but his future at the club is still up in the air.
The captain of Argentina’s contract is set to end in June, and although he is rumored to have promised PSG that he would sign a contract extension, it has now come to light that Al-Hilal are eager to transfer him to Saudi Arabia.
According to Mundo Deportivo, they would be willing to give him $300 million per year (£245 million) to expedite a transaction.
Despite recent rumours stating he is moving closer to extending his PSG term until 2024, it is claimed Messi might be open to the transfer.
The possibility that he may go to the Middle East has been strengthened by comments made by Nasser Al-Attiyah, a relative of the Emir of Qatar, who reportedly said: “Messi, his next club after he leaves from Paris Saint-Germain, will be Saudi Arabia.”
Despite being unable to recruit new players until the following transfer window, Al-Hilal wants Messi to sign now rather than risk losing him in the summer.
According to The New Arab, Messi’s father has come in Saudi Arabia’s capital to discuss the planned move, which would see Messi rekindle his on-field rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Messi accepts Al-Hilal’s offer, he will make a lot more money than Ronaldo and have the opportunity to play against his greatest foe once more.
Between 2009 and 2018, Messi and Ronaldo faced off for Barcelona and Real Madrid, where they established themselves as the world’s top two players, and they engaged in a legendary rivalry.
Although it seemed like their battle was over when Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr, Messi might possibly follow him to Saudi.
Conflicts between Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal are compared to El Clasico in Saudi Arabia, and having Messi and Ronaldo on opposing sides will further intensify the atmosphere.
When PSG travels to Riyadh to take on an All-Star XI made up of players from Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal on January 19, the great players may also face off against one another.
If Messi decides to leave Europe and accept Al-Hilal’s rich offer, this might serve as a practice run for their next encounter.
Lionel Andrés Messi (born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and captains the Argentina national team.
Messi, who is recognized as one of the all-time best players, has a record seven Ballon d’Or victories, a record six European Golden Shoes, and in 2020, he was selected for the Ballon d’Or Dream Team.
He spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, retiring from the team in 2021 after winning a club-record 35 trophies there, including 10 La Liga championships, seven Copa del Rey championships, and four UEFA Champions Leagues.
He won the 2021 Copa América and the 2022 FIFA World Cup for his nation.
A prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals in La Liga (474), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (192) and the Copa América (17).
He has also the most international goals by a South American male (98). Messi has scored over 790 senior career goals for club and country, and has the most goals by a player for a single club (672).