London: Lionel Messi has not “signed or agreed” a deal to play in Saudi Arabia next season, the Argentine’s father said after reports on Tuesday linked the Paris St Germain forward with a move to the Middle East.
Messi’s future at PSG has been the subject of much speculation in recent days after the Ligue 1 side suspended him for making a trip to Saudi Arabia and missing a training session as a result.
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On Tuesday, French media reported that Messi’s move to Saudi Arabia was a “done deal”, adding that the 35-year-old was in the process of finalising details before signing a contract.
“There is absolutely nothing with any club for next year. The decision will never be made before Lionel finishes the league (season) with PSG,” Messi’s father Jorge said in a statement on Instagram.
“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.” Messi, who apologised to PSG and his team mates last week, returned to training on Monday.
A source close to Argentina’s captain told Reuters that he had received a formal offer to join the Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal next season, with a contract renewal at PSG not on the cards for the World Cup winner, who turns 36 next month.
The Kingdom appointed Messi its tourism ambassador last year and he visited Jeddah in May 2022.
He returned in January to play a friendly match with PSG against a team of Saudi League stars, when he faced his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.