Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, has denied reports that a deal has been reached for the forward to move to Saudi Arabia next season after his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires.
“Absolutely nothing [in place] with any club for next season,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “A decision will never be made before Lionel finishes his league campaign with PSG.
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“Once the season is over, it will be the moment to analyze things and see what options there are and make a decision.
“There are always rumors and many use Lionel’s name to gain notoriety, but there is only one truth and that is that we can confirm that there is nothing. [agreed] With anyone. No verbal, no signed, no contract. And won’t be until the end of the season.
“It is disrespectful to other media that there are people who knowingly and deliberately deceive without providing any evidence, want to turn rumors into news with bad intentions for their own interests. They should explain why they do not verify their facts. They want Don’t let the truth spoil their ‘news’.”
Messi, 35, is out of contract in June, and his future remains uncertain. Sources told ESPN last week that he will leave PSG after two years in France, but his next move remains unknown.
While a switch to Saudi Arabia has not been ruled out, sources previously told ESPN that Messi is considering a move to join Al Hilal, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nasr’s city rivals.
However, there is also interest from Major League Soccer and his former club Barcelona, who have a number of financial hurdles to clear before the Argentina international can commit to an offer.
Barca will need to make massive savings to be able to register new contracts with current players and sign new ones with La Liga, but have submitted an action plan to the league detailing how they intend to make cutbacks and increase revenue.
Meanwhile, Messi returned to PSG training on Monday, just a week after being handed a two-week ban for skipping a session to fulfill a business trip to Saudi Arabia.
He missed the weekend win against Troyes as a result but, after an apology posted on social media last Friday, his ban was reduced, sources told ESPN, meaning he could be involved on Saturday against Ajaccio.
PSG, knocked out of the Champions League in the last 16 by Bayern Munich, are six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with just four games to play.