The World Cup champion joined the French club in 2021 after leaving Barcelona.
Argentina’s Lionel Messi has not “signed or agreed” on a transfer deal to join Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal, the star’s father and manager confirmed on Tuesday.
“There is absolutely nothing with any club for next year. The decision will never be made before Lionel finishes the league (season) with PSG,” Jorge Messi said on his Instagram story.
The comments came after reports claimed a transfer to the Saudi kingdom was a “done deal”. On Tuesday, AFP claimed sources privy to negotiations on the matter confirmed the World Cup champion would join Al-Hilal at the end of his contract in June.
“Messi is a done deal. He will play in Saudi Arabia next season,” the source claimed, adding that the Argentine star will play under a “huge” deal.
The report came just a day after Spanish outlet El Chiringuito TV said the move will occur by the summer.
“The contract is exceptional. It’s huge. We are just finalising some small details,” the source added in the now debunked AFP report.
Speculations over the potential move re-emerged last week after Messi 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. On Instagram, Messi’s father said it is still early to decide on his next move.
“Once the season is over it will be time to analyse and see what is out there, and then make a decision … We can assure you that there is nothing with anyone. Neither verbal, nor signed, nor agreed, and there will not be until the end of the season,” Jorge said.
However, a move to Saudi Arabia would make Messi one of the biggest footballers to join the kingdom’s pitches.
Last year, rival Cristiano Ronaldo made a historic move to Saudi’s Al Nassr, shocking much of the football world.
The source who spoke to AFP on Tuesday claimed Saudi negotiations with Messi “did not take as much time as the ones with Ronaldo.”
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.
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.