Lionel Messi’s rumored move to Saudi Arabia is a ‘done deal’ according to new reports.
Messi, 35, is reportedly on the cusp of signing a behemoth £400 million (USD $505 million) contract with Saudi team Al-Hilal.
The deal would make him the highest-paid footballer in the world.
READ MORE! Cristiano Ronaldo officially becomes the highest-paid athlete in the world
It comes after his rival Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Saudi Arabia’s Al-Nassr this year for a total salary of about $215 million per year.
A Saudi source who is reportedly close to the negotiations told AFP the Messi deal was all but agreed to.
“The contract is exceptional. It is huge. We are still finalizing some details,” the source said.
Despite this, Messi’s father has quashed the reports.
“There’s absolutely nothing agreed with any club for next season,” Jorge Messi, who also represents his son, said.
“We will decide at the end of the season.
“Nothing is signed, agreed or verbally agreed.
“Only fake news using Leo’s name.”
Messi is already under contract with Visit Saudi to promote the Kingdom as a tourist destination.
When he last visited Saudi Arabia, he was punished by his current club, Paris Saint-Germain, for missing training.
He was temporarily suspended, prompting him to issue an apology to the club and his teammates.
Messi’s current contract with Paris Saint-Germain runs through to June 30.
Should Messi make the move to Saudi Arabia, it will reignite his long-time rivalry with Al-Nassr player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo was named the world’s highest-paid athlete by Forbes for 2023.
The Forbes list currently has Messi trailing Ronaldo by just $6 million.
While Ronaldo is said to have made $136 million in the past 12 months, Messi reportedly made $130 million.
Should Messi sign the rumored £400 million deal with Saudi’s Al-Hilal, this deal would dwarf what Al Nassr is paying Ronaldo and shoot Messi to the top of that Forbes list next year.