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After initially seeking €600 million ($662 million) a year, according to El Chiringuito, Lionel Messi has decided against a future return to FC Barcelona and has accepted an offer to join Al-Halal in Saudi Arabia this summer alongside the Catalans’ captain Sergio Busquets.
On June 30, Messi and Busquets may sign with any team they want. According to Fabrizio Romano, Messi’s team has notified Paris Saint-Germain that he will not stay in the French capital. Meanwhile, Barca has been working to put together a return deal for the Argentine and convince their captain Busquets to sign a new contract.However, if El Chiringuito’s report is true, Jordi Alba and another legendary member of the Barcelona team will also be taken by Al-Hilal.According to Lorente, Alba will renounce his present contract, which expires in the middle of 2024, while Busquets will inform first team coach Xavi Hernandez on Tuesday.
Several people, including Lorente, a personal friend of former Barça president Josep Bartomeu’s board, have asserted that Messi will decline the opportunity to wear the Blaugrana once more in order to accept lucrative Middle Eastern offers.While Onda Cero claimed that Messi would leave Barcelona after a year to move to Saudi Arabia, FIFA-registered agent Marco Kirdermir, who is close to both PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi and the Saudi king, explained on Radio Marca that Messi would avoid Camp Nou and only play in Europe’s largest stadium “when he retires.”
Last month, the Saudi Gazette and Romano claimed that Messi had an offer on the table from Al-Hilal of €400 million ($440 million), which would be far more than generational rival Cristiano Ronaldo’s rumoured €200 million ($220 million) monthly salary at their arch rivals Al-Nassr.Also last week, Messi came in second with $130 million evenly split between on-field and off-field earnings, while Ronaldo topped Forbes’ list of the World’s Best-Paid Athletes 2023 with earnings of $136 million courtesy to his Saudi move.El Chiringuito, who shared their knowledge on Twitter and through a live Twitch feed, said that Messi’s camp, which was commanded by his father and agent Jorge Messi, agreed to join Al-Hilal “on one condition”: that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner receives a lot more money than Ronaldo.
The Messis apparently asked for an astounding €600 million ($660 million) year, but they ultimately compromised on €350 million ($386.5 million), which was given to and accepted by the winner of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.If accurate, the information will be devastating for Culers and FC Barcelona, who are now attempting to persuade La Liga that they can complete the Messi transaction despite challenges negotiating Financial Fair Play constraints.Planning for the 2023–2024 season by Xavi will also be impacted since he won’t be able to rely on Messi or his captain Busquets, whom he has publicly lauded and urged to stay in Catalonia for another season.
However, with Alba’s likely exit, Barca may be able to reduce their pay cost by the €200 million ($220 million) that La Liga president Javier Tebas has mandated.According to SPORT, Alba will make €38 ($42) million next season, with €20 ($22) million postponed due to agreements struck with Bartomeu and his successor Laporta.If Alba backs out, like Gerard Pique did when he announced his retirement last November, he might forgo the remaining funds that would go towards signing Gavi and Ronald Araujo to new contracts and making player purchases.