Al-Hilal are hoping to announce the signing of Lionel Messi in the coming days, as a return to Barcelona looks increasingly unlikely.
Earlier this week, Barca boss Xavi insisted that a return to Catalonia for his old team-mate Lionel Messi "depended 99 per cent" on the Argentina international. However, the club's precarious finances are also a huge stumbling block, and it's looking increasingly unlikely that Messi will be back at Barca any time soon. In the midst of that news, Saudi club Al-Hilal have become a frontrunner in the race to sign him, with SPORT reporting that the club intend to announce his signing on June 6.
Numerous clubs have been linked with the World Cup winner since his departure from Paris Saint-Germain was confirmed, with MLS side Inter Miami rumoured to be interested in signing the 35-year-old Argentina legend. But Saudi Pro League sides are now regularly competing for the signatures of world-class players, and Al-Hilal have had their sights on Messi for a while. Despite being the league's most successful club, their 2022-23 campaign was extremely disappointing, so don't be surprised if they splash the cash this summer to try and turn things around.
Al-Hilal's rumoured move for Messi would make him the highest-paid player in the world, with SPORT reporting that he could be offered €400 million ($429m) per season, double that of Cristiano Ronaldo's whopping €200m ($215m) salary at Al-Nassr. To emphasise the significance of this potential signing, Al-Hilal have reputedly set up a global news echo to ensure the transfer announcement goes far and wide as soon as Messi gives it the go ahead.
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