Speculations over Messi’s major move re-emerged last week after he was suspended by PSG for two weeks for travelling to Saudi Arabia without permission.
Lionel Messi’s transfer from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) to Saudi Al-Hilal “is a done deal,” sources privy to negotiations on the matter told AFP on Tuesday.
“Messi is a done deal. He will play in Saudi Arabia next season,” the source told the French news agency, noting that the Argentine star will play under a “huge” deal.
The latest report comes just a day after Spanish outlet El Chiringuito TV reported that the possible move will happen by the summer, once Messi’s contract expires at the end of June.
“The contract is exceptional. It’s huge. We are just finalising some small details,” the source added, referring to the potential Saudi contract.
Meanwhile, another PSG source informed AFP that if the French club “had wanted to renew his contract, it would have been done earlier.”
Speculations over the GOAT’s major move re-emerged last week after he was suspended for two weeks for travelling to Saudi Arabia without PSG’s permission.
On Friday, Messi released a video on his Instagram account in which he apologised for the incident.
The 35-year-old World Cup winner was suspended by Qatari-owned PSG last week for an unauthorised trip to Saudi, where he is a tourism ambassador.
Last year, rival Cristiano Ronaldo made a historic move to Saudi’s Al Nassr, shocking much of the football world.
The source told AFP that negotiations with Messi over his potential move “did not take as much time as the ones with Ronaldo.”
Highest paid athletes
CR7 and Messi are among the world’s top 10 highest-paid athletes, per a recent 2023 report by Forbes.
The publication placed Ronaldo as the highest-paid athlete for the first time since 2017 and for the third time overall.
The record holder’s total pay reached $136 million last year, of which $46 million came from his on-field salaries while the remaining $90 million was sourced to off-field payments such as partnerships and other appearances.
Ronaldo’s move to Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr has almost doubled the player’s salary to an estimated $75 million, per the Forbes report.
Meanwhile, Messi, the 2022 World Cup champion, is ranked as the second highest-paid athlete, earning $130 million over the past 12 months.
Out of the total, $65 million was sourced to on-field earnings while the remaining $65 million came from off-field.
The World Cup winner has scored 31 goals and contributed 34 assists in 71 games in all competitions for PSG, and won the Ligue 1 title last season.
Messi’s move to Saudi Arabia will likely increase his bank digits, as reports expect.