Lionel Messi record-breaking Saudi Arabia move 'a done deal' with PSG superstar expected to complete stunning Al-Hilal transfer
- Argentine running down contract at PSG
- Has been linked with a return to Barcelona
- Set to join Ronaldo in the Middle East
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has generated intense speculation regarding his future intentions after opting against a new deal at Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. With those terms running down, Messi is set to hit free agency this summer.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The 2022 World Cup winner has been linked with a retracing of steps to Barcelona, but financial struggles at Camp Nou have made an emotional return to a spiritual home difficult. A move to MLS has also been mooted for the all-time great, with David Beckham co-owned Inter Miami said to be keen, but a switch to America also appears to have been ruled out.
AND WHAT'S MORE: That is because AFP reports that Messi has agreed a switch to the Middle East. There has been talk of a £400 million ($505m) deal being readied for him by Al-Hilal – with that contract set to see him edge back ahead of eternal rival Ronaldo as the highest-paid player on the planet.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? There have been conflicting reports regarding Messi’s interest in moving to the Middle East – after a recent trip to Saudi Arabia landed him a ban at PSG – with the 35-year-old still mulling over whether a switch to line up against Al-Nassr superstar Ronaldo is the right career call for him.
THE LATEST FROM GOAL: While AFP are claiming that a deal has been done, GOAL understands that no offer from any club has been accepted by Messi and his entourage. They maintain that no decision on his future will be made until the end of the 2022-23 campaign in France. A further report from L’Equipe backs up that information, with talk of verbal agreements and signatures on paperwork being rubbished as a long-running saga rumbles on.