Messi’s “absolute priority” is rumored to continue playing in Europe and not join generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Superstar Lionel Messi has received a monumental offer valued at €400 million a year to move from Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain to Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, football whiz Fabrizio Romano and Saudi media reported.
Set to have his contract end this June, Saudi Arabia’s offer is the first to be officialised and put out in public light to attract the Argentine World Cup champion. Sources told Saudi Gazette that the offer “meets all of the demands” set out by Messi, the outlet reported.
However, Romano said Messi is still fixated on Europe, where he can still compete in his twilight career.
Last month a report from Spain’s El Chiringuito said Jorge Messi, the father, and representative of the Argentina captain, demanded a salary of €600 million per year from Saudi club Al-Hilal.
The mind-blowing amount for the 35-year-old Argentine would’ve nearly doubled Cristiano Ronaldo’s existing contract with Al-Nassr, which made him the highest-paid player in history.
Messi has long been rumoured to be in talks with Saudi’s Al Hilal, especially when his Portuguese competitor signed with team’s rivals, Al Nassr FC, however no official word has ever come to light from the club.
Meanwhile, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is actively being pursued by his former club, Barcelona.
At a press conference last week, Barcelona Vice President Rafa Yuste confirmed that the two groups are in close communication.
“Of course, we are in contact with Messi,” Yuste said on Friday. “Leo and his family know the affection I have for him, that we have for them.”
“I would love for him to come back, and I think the fans would too because beautiful stories in life have to have a happy ending. We are in love with Messi, and I think Messi is in love with Barca and the city of Barcelona,” Yuste added.
A homecoming between the famed footballer’s hometown team is hanging on to whether Barcelona can continue to reduce their wage bill of $216 million to meet La Liga’s regulations for next season.