The big €1 billion offer had everyone hopeful, but Jorge Messi, Lionel Messi’s father, refutes the rumors

Messi will be able to choose from a number of Saudi clubs, perhaps even joining up with his bitter rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

When his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires, there is rising hope in Saudi Arabia that Lionel Messi may decide to spend €1 billion moving to the Pro League, where the league’s elite teams will be at his disposal. According to reports, representatives of the 35-year-old celebrity met with Al Nassr, Al Hilal, and Al Ittihad as well as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.

Sources in Saudi Arabia are optimistic that he will eventually join the Pro League, much like his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo did. The Argentine, who may earn €1 billion over the course of a two-year contract in the nation, will in fact have the choice of playing alongside the two.

Even Cristiano Ronaldo’s current €200 million-per-year contract in Saudi Arabia would be dwarfed by that possible contract, which is almost probably out of the price range of his other suitors, Inter Miami CF of Major League Soccer and his former team Barcelona. The MLS team is apparently willing to sweeten their offer by giving Messi a share of the company, whereas Barcelona would struggle to even free up pay space for him due to the wage cap system in La Liga.

No transaction has been concluded as of yet. A statement from Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, on Tuesday confirmed that a choice wouldn’t be made until the completion of the current campaign. Nothing has been agreed upon with any club for the upcoming season, he stated. “At the end of the season, we’ll make a decision. Nothing is acknowledged verbally, in writing, or both. Leo’s name is only used in bogus news.

However, there is hope that Saudi Arabia would prevail in the race. Deals of this kind eventually involve the state’s machinery just as much as they do individual clubs, and a person familiar with the negotiations claims that Messi hasn’t stated which team he would prefer to join.

Messi “had expressed a desire to play in December’s Club World Cup, a place at which is reserved for the Saudi champions,” according to a person familiar with the discussions. Al Ittihad leads the table with five points with four games still to play.

Messi represents Saudi Arabia’s tourism industry. Last Friday, he received a suspension from Paris Saint-Germain for visiting the kingdom the day after their 3-1 loss to Lorient. There has been no sign that PSG will reconsider their decision not to extend him a new contract, despite the fact that he returned to training a week earlier than originally planned.

Zinedine Zidane and Al Nassr are still in talks for the position of manager, as thesupertipz first reported last month. The Riyadh club had planned to hire him right away after Rudi Garcia was fired, but Zidane decided to hold out until the summer.