Reports emerged on Tuesday, April 4th that Saudi Pro League club Al Hilal has offered Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star Lionel Messi an annual salary of over €400 million. If the Argentine accepts this deal, he would become the highest-paid football player in the world, surpassing Al-Nassr captain Cristiano Ronaldo, who currently holds the top spot after signing a deal last year believed to be worth over €200 million.
Despite the astronomical offer from Al Hilal, Messi’s priority is to continue playing in Europe, according to renowned journalist Fabrizio Romano. PSG fans have recently jeered the 35-year-old off the pitch, indicating that his contract may not be renewed at the end of the season. This, along with the malaise around the team following their exit from the Champions League in the last 16 by Bayern Munich last month, has changed the dynamics of Messi’s contract renewal.
“The fans have changed things completely,” said a source close to PSG. “No deal, no exit yet. But an exit is much more likely.” Messi joined PSG in 2021 on a two-year deal that expires at the end of this campaign. He has scored 29 goals and set up 32 more in 67 appearances for PSG in all competitions.
The situation with Messi’s contract at PSG has also led to speculation that Barcelona is courting the Argentine, hoping to persuade him to return to Camp Nou two years after he left the club where he won four Champions League titles. “I would love it if he returned,” said Barca vice-president Rafael Yuste, who admitted there had been “contact” with Messi.
However, Messi’s priority remains to stay in Europe, and despite the huge offer from Al Hilal, he is more likely to leave PSG than sign a new deal. This means that the battle for Messi’s signature is still ongoing, with both PSG and Barcelona vying for his services. As of now, Messi has not accepted Al Hilal’s offer, and it remains to be seen whether he will stay in Europe or move to the Middle East to become the highest-paid football player in history.