Lionel Messi waves to fans during a match. File
Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi is all set to play the next season in Saudi Arabia after an ‘extraordinary and huge’ financial deal, a source familiar with the negotiations told media on Tuesday.
The source, who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak to the media, said, “The Messi deal has been completed. He will play in Saudi Arabia next season,” without referring to the club for which he will play.
It is to be noted that the Saudi club Al Hilal is negotiating with him, and it was reported that the value of the contract may reach 600 million euros.
“The contract is exceptional. it's huge and further details of the deals are being finalised, source said.
meanwhile, his French club, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), told media that the 35-year-old world champion’s contract is valid until June 30.
A second source in the French club said, "If the club wanted to renew his contract, it would have done so early."
The PSG recently suspended its World Cup-winning star due to his travel to Saudi Arabia without the club’s approval.
Messi's arrival to Saudi Arabia came months after the arrival of his rival and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined the Saudi club Al-Nasr in a resounding deal last January.
It is believed that the Portuguese contract, which extends until June 2025, is estimated at more than 440 million euros, which makes him the highest-paid athlete, according to Forbes.
It is noteworthy that Messi signed a contract several months ago with the Ministry of Tourism to be an ambassador for tourism in the Kingdom, and there were speculations that the player was close to moving to the Saudi League.
Messi's opener was cancelled out by a Kevin Gameiro equaliser, but the result gave PSG an unassailable four-point lead over second-placed Lens with one match of the season remaining.
The newspaper confirmed that the contract offered to Lionel Messi gives him $400 million annually, with his nomination to represent Al-Hilal Club, the traditional rival of Al-Nasr Club represented by Cristiano Ronaldo.
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