Lionel Messi is reportedly set to sign a massive deal with Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, which would make him the highest-paid athlete in the world and join Cristiano Ronaldo in the Middle Eastern nation. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ittihad has reached an agreement with French striker Karim Benzema to sign him on a two-year deal, Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television station reported on Sunday.
Argentine superstar Lionel Messi is on the verge of signing a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal, according to reports from Saudi media.
Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that the signing is “imminent,” adding that the football icon is expected to finalize his contract in Paris, where he currently lives, in the presence of a Saudi delegation.
Once the agreement is reached, Messi will then make his way to the Saudi capital Riyadh within the next 48 hours. The official announcement of the deal is anticipated to take place after Messi arrives in Riyadh, the report adds.
Although the financial terms of the contract, including the player’s salary, remain undisclosed at this stage, the footballing world is abuzz with speculation about the magnitude of the deal which could potentially reach a sum of $400 million.
Okaz had previously reported that Jorge Horacio Messi, Lionel Messi’s father, and agent, arrived in Riyadh ahead of his son.
Messi’s contract with French club Paris Saint-Germain expires this summer, with the club having confirmed that the Argentine footballer will depart the club after this season.
According to earlier reports, the Argentine was considering a $400 million-a-year mega deal from the Riyadh club when he leaves PSG this month. This will make Messi the highest-paid athlete in the world and surpass Cristiano Ronaldo’s earnings. The Portuguese star joined the Al-Nassr Club in January this year.
If Messi accepts the monster offer, it would be a major boost for Saudi Arabia with having two superstars of world football playing in their professional league tournaments.
It is noteworthy that Okaz/Saudi Gazette published an exclusive report on March 14 about the visit of Jorge Messi in preparation for arranging accommodation for his son in the Saudi capital. Messi is currently serving as the tourism ambassador of Saudi Arabia.
In a related development, former Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has become the latest player to garner outlandish money from a Saudi Arabian club, following his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to the Middle Eastern nation, according to Saudi media.
The 35-year-old Benzema departed Real Madrid following the 2022/23 season, leaving the Spanish giants after 14 years of glory and silverware.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Benzema will be handed a three-year contract by Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad worth a staggering $643 million.
That means Benzema will make $214 million per year or $4.12 million per week.
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