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Lionel Messi’s Rumored Move to Saudi Arabia Shrouded in Doubt as Representative Denies Reports

The future of Lionel Messi is up in the air as the summer transfer window moves ever closer. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will depart PSG at the end of his current deal, with the Parisians revealing in early May that they wouldn’t seek to extend the contract of the player many regards as the greatest to have played the sport and the favorite at decision has led to a huge wave of excitement from across the globe, as many are beginning to speculate where we could see Messi playing his football at the start of the 2023-24 season. But, what are Messi’s current options that are reportedly on the table?

PSG Decision Made

Messi made the decision to move to PSG at the end of his deal at Barcelona following the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. It was revealed that his reasoning behind the move was to land another Champions League success. However, Messi’s promise to deliver the elusive trophy to the Parc des Princes hasn’t played out, with PSG crashing out at the quarter final stage in the 2022-23 season at the hands of Bayern Munich.

While Messi’s performances have shown improvement this season after a lackluster start with the club, where he scored 20 goals in 39 games, his departure from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) was sealed when he chose to defy team orders and travel to Saudi Arabia for commercial purposes. In light of this, PSG made the decision not to extend his contract.

Join Ronaldo In Saudi Arabia

Messi’s links with Saudi Arabia have made a move to the country one of the most likely outcomes at the conclusion of the current season. It was reported shortly after PSG’s decision by AFP that the Argentinean had agreed on a deal with Al-Hilal to join the Saudi Pro League, but these reports were quickly downplayed by Messi’s agent. In response, the agent claimed that no final decision had been made, as the World Cup winner was waiting until the end of the season to make a final decision on where his future lies.

A move to Saudi Arabia would certainly be a lucrative one for Messi, as any club in the nation would likely offer a record-breaking deal, exceeding the amount that is being offered to Cristiano Ronaldo. The nation would also stand to benefit from having the two greatest players of this generation playing in Saudi Arabia, as they hope to enter the bidding to host a World Cup in the near future.

Fairytale Return To Barcelona

One of the main reasons why Messi is waiting until the end of the season to weigh up his options could be down to the fact that the Argentinean is hoping that the door will open on a potential return to Barcelona. However, any agreement with the La Liga champions could be challenging, as Barcelona’s financial issues mean that they will likely need to offload stars to free up the wage space to bring back Messi.

The club’s president is hopeful that an agreement can be made for Messi in the summer, which would help create a fitting final move for both the player and the club. Messi’s main ambition would likely also see him remain in Europe for another couple of seasons, especially if he has the goal of playing at the top level of the sport throughout his final professional seasons.

Other Potential Moves

The MLS has always been a league interested in taking Messi, and that could be a prominent option if the World Cup winner wants to take a final payday without moving to Saudi Arabia. Inter Miami has been a long-time admirer of the former Barcelona ace, but it would likely take an MLS record to tempt the forward to the United States this summer.

Aside from Barcelona, a number of Premier League clubs could also throw their hat into the ring. Manchester City attempted to bring Messi to the club two years ago, but after signing Erling Haaland last summer, a deal to add Messi may be challenging. Chelsea could also be willing to splash the cash and add another forward, while Newcastle could celebrate Champions League qualification by making a bold move.

Final Thoughts

Messi’s time in Paris is almost certainly going to come to an end in June, and there will be no shortage of potential offers on the table for the former Ballon d’Or winner. But, a return to Barcelona remains his most likely destination, providing that they can free up enough space on their wage bill.

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