Report: Messi to leave PSG after being suspended for trip to Saudi Arabia

Lionel Messi will leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires at the end of the season, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.

Wednesday’s bombshell comes a day after PSG suspended Messi for two weeks without pay over an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia.

PSG had reportedly denied his request to carry out sponsorship duties in the kingdom.

However, BBC Sport’s Guillem Balague reports Messi’s father Jorge had informed PSG sporting director Luis Campos weeks ago that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner won’t renew his contract.

Messi, 35, has been linked with a return to Barcelona even as his former club contends with financial constraints in La Liga. He left the Catalan giants as a free agent in August 2021 because they couldn’t find a way to pay him under their salary cap.

Messi could stand to make as much as €400 million if he decides to play in Saudi Arabia, according to Balague. Al Hilal, rivals of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr, is reportedly interested, as is David Beckham’s Inter Miami of Major League Soccer.

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Messi met with Beckham at PSG’s training facility last week.

Messi signed a two-year deal with PSG worth around €30 million per season after leaving Barcelona. Despite scoring 31 goals in 71 appearances, the World Cup winner has failed to live up to expectations and become a target of derision among hardcore supporters.

PSG manager Christophe Galtier reportedly promised the players would have Monday and Tuesday off if they beat Lorient on the weekend. However, PSG ended up losing the game 3-1, and Galtier ordered his team to train Monday. Messi had already left for Saudi Arabia by then.

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While serving the suspension, Messi can’t train or play with the first team, a source told Agence France-Presse. He’ll also be fined an undisclosed amount and miss upcoming games against Troyes and Ajaccio.

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