- 29 November
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Messi's new club sets date for official announcement
Messi, who has spent the last two years with the Parisians after a storied career at Barcelona, where he became the club’s all-time leading appearance-maker, scorer and goal-creator, will depart the Ligue 1 champions on a free transfer at the end of his current contract.
Barcelona had hoped to sign the World Cup winner, but instead, he appears destined to move to the Saudi Pro League.
Although it is not clear which club he will sign for, Al-Hilal are the team most hotly linked with the 35-year-old, who has won seven Ballons d’Or and is widely considered to be the greatest player of all time.
According to Sport, Messi’s future should become apparent on Tuesday, 6 June, when Al Hilal will announce his arrival. The Argentine has still not entirely ratified the move yet.
The Saudi Pro League club believe that this date will give them the opportunity to have a maximum global impact and begin to show Saudi Arabia in a positive light to the world.
Messi, meanwhile, does not want the summer to turn into a soap opera of speculation surrounding his future and hence will make a quick announcement.
Ideally, he wanted to move back to Barcelona, but he was unconvinced that the club would be able to get their finances in order to make the deal happen.
Messi’s Al-Hilal wages
While there were reports that Messi could earn €1 billion over the course of a two-year deal, Sport reports that he will earn €400m each season – still a figure unprecedented in world football.
Al-Hilal are the Saudi Pro League’s most successful side, with 18 titles, but after a third-placed finish this season are not heading for continental competition, though this is not thought to be an impediment to Messi joining.