Monday, March 4News That Matters

Lionel Messi may cause Saudi Arabia law change as Ronaldo deal could be matched

Saudi Arabian politicians may need to change their laws if Lionel Messi decides to join Al Hilal at the end of the campaign, according to reports.

The Argentine forward is out of contract this summer and his future remains unknown, despite Paris Saint-Germain attempting to retain his services.

The 35-year-old has thrived in the Ligue 1 this season, scoring 13 and assisting 13 in 23 game. Though, he has been unable to help PSG achieve their goal of winning the Champions League.

The French club are hoping to convince Messi to sign a new contract at the Parc des Princes, though an agreement has not been reached and other options are being explored.

A move to the MLS was reported as an option for the Argentina international, with Saudi Arabian teams also in the frame.

According to Marca, Al Hilal are preparing an offer to try and persuade him to join them. They are set to offer Messi a deal that will see him earn £177m per year – the exact same figures that Cristiano Ronaldo currently earns at Al Nassr.

If agreed, the deal would need approval from Saudi Arabian politicians though as the salary limit would need to be altered to facilitate Messi and Ronaldo.

Though that is not expected to be a problem, with signing the two players – regarded as all-time greats in the space of a year being seen as accelerating the progress of the league significantly.

It remains to be seen if Messi is willing to follow in the footsteps of Ronaldo and head to the Middle East. His displays at the Qatar World Cup in his nation’s success underlined that he is capable of playing at the very top level.

Barcelona supporters are hoping that a return to the club is on the cards for Messi as well.

Gerard Pique discussed where he believes his former team-mate will go, telling RAC1: “Only he knows his future. I think that winning the World Cup was the dream he had on a personal level. It was the title he needed to be considered the best in history. Now everyone is convinced of it.

“Now everything he decides is based on where he thinks he can find happiness. The most normal thing is that he stays in Europe. Barça can be there. For the Catalans, for him to return on a sentimental level would be incredible. But it is a decision for him. Here, no matter how much people say, those words are only their feelings and their motivation.”

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