The chairman of Saudi Pro League club Al-Tai has hit out at Lionel Messi and claimed that he is not interested in signing the legendary Argentinian although the forward's future at Paris Saint-Germain remains unclear. The 35-year-old’s contract at the Ligue 1 giant expires in the summer, though there have been conflicting rumours over whether he wants to remain in Paris after lifting the World Cup with his country in Qatar.
Rumours have swirled that Messi could return to Barcelona, move to MLS at David Beckham’s Inter Miami or even join Cristiano Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia. The Portuguese striker moved to Al Nassr this year after his Manchester United contract was torn up. That saw his long-standing rivalry with Messi come to an end and it seemed unlikely that the two would compete against each other again.
They did shortly meet following Ronaldo’s arrival to the Middle East, as PSG took on a Saudi Pro League all-star team featuring the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in a friendly, though whether the duo could compete regularly in the region remains to be seen.
Messi has been strongly linked with Al-Nassr’s rivals, Al-Hilal, as Spanish outlet Marca claimed that they were preparing a huge contract offer for him.
Other Saudi Arabian teams are expected to follow Al Nassr’s suit by bringing more European stars to the league, as they begin pursuits for the likes of Messi and co, but Al-Tai chairman Tuk Al Dhabaan hit out at the Argentina captain with a savage jibe and made his stance clear that he was not interested in signing him.
“I do not want to sign a world-class player in my team who is saturated and watches the match from the stadium like Messi in front of Bayern Munich,” Al Dhabaan told Saudi Arabian TV channel SBC, via GOAL Saudi Arabia.
Though Messi and PSG were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich, some reports have suggested that he wants to continue playing at the top level of football, perhaps casting doubt on a move to the Middle East. Al-Tai are currently eighth in the league table, behind both Ronaldo’s Al Nassr and Al-Hilal, who do reportedly wish to sign Messi.
Messi will have a host of suitors should he decide to leave PSG not including Al Dhabaan’s Al-Tai, while MLS clubs are reportedly putting together an intriguing proposition.
It has been claimed that the 29 teams in the league could all work together to bankroll a sensational deal that would bring Messi to the US, though he would only play for one team it is likely that all MLS teams would benefit similarly to when Beckham stunned the world with his move to LA Galaxy.
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