Lionel Messi team 'in talks' over £320m-a-year move to Saudi Arabia as he exits PSG: report

Lionel Messi team 'in talks' over £320m-a-year move to Saudi Arabia as he exits PSG: report
Lionel Messi could become the latest football superstar to join a Saudi Pro League team, should a reported deal for him to make a move this summer be finalised.
2 min read
04 May, 2023
Messi will be leaving his current club Paris Saint-Germain this summer [Getty]

Saudi Arabia's top-flight football league is reportedly working to lure in Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi with a £340 million-per-year deal.

The Saudi Pro League is talking to Messi's agents, including his father Jorge, in time for when his contract with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) expires in June, The Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The deal could see Messi offered $400 million (£320 million) per year, according to The Telegraph - significantly more than what rival Cristiano Ronaldo earns as a player for Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo signed a £175 million-a-year contract with Al-Nassr in January.

It is unclear which Saudi club Messi might join, though Al-Nassr rivals Al-Hilal have been touted as a potential destination.

Speculation has swirled for months that World Cup winner Messi - considered one of football's all-time greats - could make a move to Riyadh next summer.

Jorge Messi was allegedly in the Saudi capital in January this year, amid earlier speculation that the Argentine forward could join the Saudi football league.

Wednesday's report follows Messi's return from an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, for which he faced a two-week suspension and disciplinary action from his club.

PSG confirmed on Wednesday that they will not renew the World Cup-winning player’s contract following the trip.

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Messi, 35, is an ambassador for tourism in the Gulf kingdom with a multi-million dollar role in the Visit Saudi campaign. The footballer posted an image from his recent trip on his social media pages, accompanied by the #VisitSaudi hashtag. 

Other world-famous clubs, including his former home of Barcelona, are also reportedly vying to sign Messi.

Should Messi join Al-Hilal while Ronaldo plays at Al-Nassr, the famous rivalry the pair had while at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively could be recreated.