Saudi Arabia are reportedly confident about signing Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi at the end of this season.
The 35-year-old’s current deal expires in June, with the Parisians having the option to extend it by another year.
However, the Ligue 1 giants will not retain Messi and he will leave the club as a free agent this summer, per L’Equipe.
The experienced forward has been linked with a return to Barcelona, with manager Xavi Hernandez keen to sign him.
But the Catalans’ financial problems mean Xavi may not have his wish fulfilled.
According to Marca, Saudi Arabia is increasingly confident about signing Messi this summer.
It is said that the country’s political and sporting figures are highly optimistic the Argentine will soon be playing in their football league.
Former Real Madrid and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is already showcasing his skills in the Pro League.
The Portuguese mutually terminated his contract at United to join Al Nassr in January.
Since he arrived in Riyadh, he has netted 14 goals in 18 senior appearances.
The Saudi rulers reportedly want to revive the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry in the Middle East.
Recent reports suggested the Argentina international has accepted an offer from Al-Hilal to join them this summer.
The club have offered him a lucrative contract worth over €300 million.
However, Messi and his father have insisted that no decision will be made on his future until the end of the season.