Blow to Saudi transfer hopes? Lionel Messi's wife Antonela Roccuzzo hesitant to move family to Middle East as PSG superstar aims to remain in Europe

Antonella Roccuzzo in Diriyah wearing a traditional Saudi hama
Saudi Tourism Authority
Lionel Messi's family could provide a obstacle to any move to Saudi Arabia, with his wife Antonela Roccuzzo hesitant to relocate to the Middle East.
  • Messi's future still unclear
  • Has received Saudi offer
  • Family may need convincing to move

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi is seriously considering a transfer to Saudi Arabia after receiving a huge offer to move there once he leaves Paris Saint-Germain in the summer. However, the World Cup winner is stalling because his preference is to stay in Europe, according to L'Equipe. Messi's wife Antonela is also thought to be hesitant about the prospect of relocating to Saudi Arabia with the couple's three young sons.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Saudi side Al-Hilal have been hoping to convince Messi to make the move by also targeting deals for his former Barcelona team-mates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba. Al-Hilal coach Ramon Diaz has said only "we'll see" when asked about the possibility of landing the Argentina international.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Messi has recently taken a trip to Saudi Arabia which resulted in the forward being hit with a two-week suspension by PSG as his visit was not sanctioned the club. The World Cup winner has since apologised to the club and his team-mates and returned to training, albeit on his own, on Monday.


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Lionel Messi Antonela Roccuzzo Thiago Mateo Ciro Año Nuevo 2022

Sergio Busquets Lionel Messi Jordi Alba

Lionel Messi Paris Saint-Germain 2022-23

WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? The Argentine missed PSG's 3-1 win over Troyes last time out because of his suspension. Messi's return to training suggests his ban could be over, following a public apology, but it's still not clear if he will be available for selection for PSG's next game against Ajaccio on Saturday.