The Saudi Arabian government is reportedly preparing the most lucrative salary deal in the history of football to bring Lionel Messi to its Saudi Pro League this summer.
Recall that INFORMATION NIGERIA reported that Messi was suspended for two weeks over a trip to Saudi Arabia without the knowledge of his club, Paris Saint Germain.(PSG)
Talks with Messi’s representatives, led by his father Jorge, are under way for when the player becomes a free agent at the end of June upon the expiration of his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
The whole package could be worth $400 million annually (£320 million), which would exceed even the £165 million that Cristiano Ronaldo is being paid annually to play in Saudi until the summer of 2025.
READ MORE: PSG Suspend Lionel Messi Over Unapproved Trip To Saudi Arabia
The conventional process for Saudi Arabia signing the world’s top talent, as with Ronaldo in December, has been for deals to have state involvement before a final destination club is decided.
The Saudi government has recruited the former Manchester City chief executive Garry Cook, who was in charge of the club when the Abu Dhabi takeover was completed in 2008, in a similar position in the Saudi Pro League. It is anticipated that he will be involved in any discussions to secure Messi’s signature.
A PSG offer has been on the table since January, to extend Messi’s stay in the French capital for another 12 months, but there is now no expectation that it will be signed.
Recall that Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr, currently second in the league behind leaders Al-Ittihad. Al-Nassr’s traditional rivals are Al-Hilal and placing Messi with that club, historically the nation’s most successful, would recreate the rivalry the pair had for nine years with Real Madrid and Barcelona. Al-Hilal won the Asian Champions League equivalent in 2021, their fourth title in that competition.