Lionel Messi was never approached by Al Hilal and is not considering a move to Saudi Arabia, according to Spanish football analyst Guillem Balague.
Recall that we previously reported that the 35-year-old Argentine international had received a £245 million per year deal to move to the Middle East.
Messi’s contract with PSG expires in the summer, but, according to Balague, a deal to keep him there is almost complete.
“There hasn’t been an offer [from Al Hilal],” Balague confirmed.
“PSG and Messi are organizing a meeting in the next few weeks to finalize the deal that will keep him in Paris.”
In Qatar last month, Messi helped Argentina win the World Cup for the first time since 1986.
He stated after the competition that he intended to continue representing his nation, and Balague claims he also has aspirations of winning future competitions in Europe.
“Right now, his motivation is to stay in Europe,” Balague also added.
“He is favourite to win the Ballon d’Or, he is still in the Champions League, he has big targets after winning the World Cup.”
“Not only does it make no sense to approach him with that offer, it hasn’t existed.”
Messi moved to PSG from Barcelona in 2021 and has since made 54 appearances and scored 24 goals for the Ligue 1 team.
Lionel Messi Contract
Despite rumors of a huge financial offer from Saudi Arabia, Lionel Messi is reportedly close to extending his stay at Paris Saint-Germain.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s longtime rival, has already moved to the Gulf State and is now a member of Al-Nassr in a contract that is said to be worth a staggering £173 million annually to the Portugal international.
After leaving Manchester United in November and moving to the Saudi Pro League, the 37-year-old insisted that his time in Europe was up.
Messi, though, finds himself in a unique circumstance. After winning the Ligue 1 championship in his first season in France, the World Cup winner has had a successful second year with Paris Saint-Germain, and the league leaders are still eager to keep him on board.
A formal offer from Al-Hilal has reportedly not yet arrived. Additionally, according to the article, conversations between Messi and PSG are anticipated to take place soon.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi stated during the World Cup that the player and club had agreed to speak after the competition.
Al-Khelaifi was optimistic of keeping the veteran even though there was no assurance that the Argentine’s first two-year contract would be extended once he joined from Barcelona in 2021.
After receiving a lengthy break following his victory, Messi returned to club play on January 11.
The former Barcelona player scored in PSG’s 2-0 victory against Angers to maintain the French team’s six-point lead atop Ligue 1.
On February 14, Christophe Galtier’s team will return to Champions League play after finishing second in their group despite staying undefeated for six games.
They will compete against Bayern Munich in a rematch of the 2020 championship, seeking vengeance for Kingsley Coman’s winning goal for Bayern in Lisbon.
Who is Guillem Balagué?
A journalist, author, and analyst for Spanish football, Guillem Balagué was born on November 2, 1968.
He has written for various Spanish and British newspapers in addition to serving as a regular analyst on the Revista de la Liga program on Sky Sports.
In June 2008, Balagué unveiled his own personal website which include a blog, news, and a way for people to get in touch with him.
Journalist Balagué has contributed to both English and Spanish newspapers. He is now working on a football documentary and the first English-language biography of Pep Guardiola.
In addition to a weekly column in the free daily commuter newspaper The Metro, where he primarily commented on stories regarding continental football, he has also published articles in the British publications The Times and The Observer.
He occasionally contributes to the sports blog Bleacher Report.
He is particularly well recognized for his work with the national radio station of Spain, CADENA SER, where he frequently participates in phone-ins, and the Spanish football daily Diario AS.