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Messi’s new club ready to make official announcement
Lionel Messi’s transfer saga is drawing to an end, with the Barcelona legend set to shun a move back to Camp Nou in favour of a transfer to the Saudi Pro League that is set to earn him the richest contract in sport history.
The deal has been virtually confirmed by Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, the Saudi sports minister, who has hinted that Messi and Real Madrid star Karim Benzema will be joining Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League this summer.
Messi is out of contract with PSG at the end of the season and will not renew his contract with the Ligue 1 club.
Although it is not known which Saudi Pro League clubs the pair will be joining, it is expected that Messi goes to Al-Hilal to square up in direct competition against Ronaldo once more.
Messi to be joined by Benzema in Saudi Pro League
Barcelona had been holding out hope of Messi making a dramatic return to Camp Nou this summer, but it appears that the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules working against them will prove too steep.
The club have been working on solutions, with a report that they could even team up with David Beckham’s Inter Miami to manufacture a loan deal. However, even this appears to be beyond the Camp Nou side.
Messi does not want to wait all summer for Barca to find a solution, while his father, Jorge, is reportedly pushing him towards the big-money deal being offered by Saudi Arabia.
Benzema, too, is likely to move to Saudi Arabia on a free transfer, with the Real Madrid man also out of contract at the end of the season.
This promises to pose Los Blancos a major headache given Kylian Mbappe of PSG is likely to be out of their price range until he becomes a free agent next summer, while their other long-term target Erling Haaland is untouchable at Manchester City.
Al-Faisal has hinted that both the deals for Messi and Benzema will be announced when the players finish their respective seasons in France and Spain.