Lionel Messi appears likely to depart Paris Saint-Germain this summer, with Saudi Arabia, not MLS, perhaps the more likely. The superstar joined the French club in 2021, but his current contract is set to expire in June. Reports are now surfacing that the Argentina international is strongly considering a move to the Middle East.

ESPN is claiming that there is a growing confidence that Messi will make the switch to the Saudi Pro League. Should the star forward decide on the Middle East, Al Hilal would be his destination club. Team officials initially had very low expectations of an agreement with Messi when they met with his camp late last year. However, sources tell the news outlet that there is now at least a ’50-50′ chance that the player chooses the Saudi club.

World Cup winner is an ambassador for Visit Saudi

Messi already has ties to the Middle Eastern country. He is currently an ambassador for the country’s Visit Saudi campaign. In fact, the Argentine also has his own website for the campaign featuring his favorite places to see in the nation. It was also revealed last month that Messi visited Saudi Arabia for the third time in less that a year. News broke about the trip on the same day as PSG was knocked out of the Champions League.

A separate report surfaced last week that PSG would likely allow Messi to leave the club this summer. The Parisians are experiencing financial issues and could walk away from the Argentine’s massive contract. PSG have already been fined once for breaching Financial Fair Play rules and could be issued another sanction should they not comply with regulations.

Messi could end up in Saudi Arabia, MLS, PSG or others

Despite the Saudi claims, Messi’s entourage recently claimed that the player was still in negotiations with PSG. “We won’t make a public statement, but not only is it clear that Leo and the club are negotiating, but the club want Leo to stay, as the manager (Christophe Galtier) recently said,” a representative for Messi told Le Parisien.

Nevertheless, it seems unlikely that Messi will re-sign with PSG. FFP issues at the club would make it very difficult for the player to remain in the French capital. A move to Al Hilal could make sense, both financially and they are currently coached by Argentine Ramon Diaz. The Saudi club supposedly offered Messi a contract last week as well.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Le Pictorium