Riyadh: Argentine superstar Lionel Messi will play in Saudi Arabia next season under a "huge" deal, a source close to the negotiations told AFP on Tuesday.
"Messi is a done deal. He will play in Saudi Arabia next season," said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity and without naming the club.
"The contract is exceptional. It's huge. We are just finalising some small details," added the source, who is not authorised to speak to media. The contract reportedly is worth $657 million.
Asked about the comments, Messi's current club Paris Saint-Germain simply noted he remains under contract until June 30.
A separate PSG source said: "If the club had wanted to renew his contract, it would have been done earlier."
Ronaldo's agreement to June 2025 is said to total more than €400 million ($439million), making him the world's highest paid athlete according to Forbes.
Messi, who turns 36 in June, has had two lacklustre seasons in Paris after a glorious era at Barcelona where he won four Champions League and 10 La Liga titles, and is still worshipped by the fans.
The record seven-time world player of the year, joining a mouth-watering attack featuring Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, scored just 11 goals in his first season as he helped PSG to a routine Ligue 1 title.
But PSG have got no closer to a coveted maiden Champions League victory, bowing out twice in the last 16 even with the illustrious Argentine in the line-up.
Frustrations boiled over last week when black-clad PSG protesters let off flares and sang hostile chants targeting the underperforming Messi, Neymar and Italian midfielder Marco Verratti.
The angry scenes contrasted with Messi's career-crowning moment in December, when he led Argentina to a breathless World Cup final victory over Mbappe and France in Doha to fill the biggest gap in his resume.