Turki Al-Sheikh, the chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Entertainment, has addressed claims that he met PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi to discuss Lionel Messi’s transfer on Al-Hilal’s behalf.
Saudi Arabia pulled a rabbit out of the hat by convincing Cristiano Ronaldo to join Al-Nassr in the winter. They have now set their eyes on luring PSG superstar Lionel Messi to the Middle East.
Al-Nassr’s Saudi Pro League rivals Al-Hilal have been credited with an interest in acquiring the Argentinian’s services. With the player’s contract with the Parisians expiring in the summer, they believe they can persuade him to move to the country.
According to Mundo Deportivo [via GOAL], Al-Hilal are prepared to offer Messi a whopping $300 million a year deal. This has come on the back of the news that the player is considering leaving Les Parisiens.
Saudi club Al Hilal is prepared to offer Lionel Messi a contract worth up to $350 MILLION per year, per @mundodeportivo.
Al Hilal’s rivals: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr. pic.twitter.com/T7vmypAA4C
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) January 13, 2023
Sports outlet Bolavip recently sparked further talk of a move to Saudi for Messi by claiming that talks are already underway. The report stated that Al-Sheikh, the country’s chairman of the General Authority for Entertainment, has met PSG president Al-Khelaifi in Qatar to discuss a potential transfer.
As per the report, Al-Sheikh held talks with Al-Khelaifi to put the wheels in motion to take the 35-year-old to Saudi. Al-Hilal are said to be prepared to do whatever it takes to acquire the player’s services.
However, Al-Sheikh has now denied reports that he met Al-Khelaifi in Qatar to discuss a deal for Messi. He also insisted that he is not involved in any dealings related to Saudi football. He wrote on Twitter:
“Incorrect news. I have not visited Qatar since 2015. I have nothing to do with Saudi football near or far. I am only a fan without any influence.”
خبر غير صحيح ولم ازور قطر من ٢٠١٥م … ولا علاقه لي بالكره السعوديه لامن قريب او بعيد انا فقط مشجع دون اي تأثير🙏🏻🇸🇦
— TURKI ALALSHIKH (@Turki_alalshikh) February 14, 2023
While Al-Sheikh has rubbished claims of holding talks with Al-Khelaifi, Al-Hilal still appear to be interested in luring Lionel Messi to Saudi.
Lionel Messi considering PSG exit
Lionel Messi has been on PSG’s books since joining them from Barcelona on a free transfer in 2021. He put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the French giants at the time.
While there is an option to extend the contract by another 12 months, such an agreement is yet to be reached. The Argentinian icon could thus be on his way out of the Parc des Princes in the summer.
PSG are reportedly keen to tie Messi down to a new deal at the club. However, the 35-year-old is favoring a move away from the club in the summer, according to French outlet Foot Mercato.