Is this the only thing that could stop Lionel Messi’s £522MILLION move? His wife Antonela ‘can’t imagine moving the family to Saudi Arabia and wants to stay in Europe’

  • Lionel Messi has been strongly linked with a move to Saudi side Al-Hilal
  • Messi’s wife Antonella Roccuzzo is not convinced about the family moving there
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Lionel Messi reportedly agreeing a huge deal with Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal comes despite concerns his wife has over moving to the Gulf state.

The Argentine World Cup winner has an offer from Saudi Pro League outfit Al-Hilal worth a staggering £522m.

And according to AFP, Messi has agreed to play in Saudi next season and it is a ‘done deal’ with Al-Hilal, the agency said citing a source close to the negotiations – despite the concerns of his wife Antonela Roccuzzo.

Should the Paris Saint-Germain star join the Saudi club, it would renew his rivalry with long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo – who joined Al-Nassr at the end of December.  

Messi had reportedly been prepared to wait until the end of the season to make his decision after discussing his future with his family – but it now appears those concerns have been allayed, with Messi set to move to Saudi capital city Riyadh.

Lionel Messi’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo (left) is reportedly reluctant for the couple along with their three children to move to Saudi Arabia and would prefer they stay in Europe

Messi is set to leave PSG at the end of the season and he has an offer on the table from Saudi Pro League side Al Hilal which is worth a staggering £522m

Messi and his wife recently made a visit to Saudi Arabia with their sons Ciro and Mateo as part of his duties as a tourism ambassador in the country

French publication L’Equipe reported that Antonela ‘can’t imagine’ their family moving to Saudi Arabia.

She is reportedly reluctant for the couple, along with their three young sons – Thiago, 10, Mateo, 7, and Ciro, 5 – to relocate to the Middle East and she would prefer to stay in Europe. 

But reports on Tuesday indicated he had already agreed to sign for Al-Hilal.

Messi, an ambassador for the Gulf state’s joint bid for the 2030 World Cup, is expected to leave PSG when his contract ends on June 30 and it appears his next destination will be Saudi Arabia.

L’Equipe claim that the offer on the table for Messi is a two-year deal with the option of a third – which he would be 38 years old by the end of.

Messi himself would still prefer to stay in Europe and it’s said that he is keeping an eye on the financial situation at former club Barcelona. 

Barcelona – where Messi played for most of his legendary career – must find around £175m to be able to register recruited players or players already on the books who they sign to new contract extensions.  

Similar to Ronaldo, Saudi Arabia see Messi as a star of the game, and believe that the prospect of him moving to the country is a ‘unique opportunity which is impossible to pass up’.

It’s claimed that Riyadh has been preparing its strategy for months and has ‘left nothing to chance’.  

Messi’s contract at PSG is set to expire at the end of the season and the 35-year-old looks certain to leave the club where he has struggled to build the same level of affinity as he did at Barcelona.

Talk of a move to Saudi Arabia heightened after he took an unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia, where he holds a £25m-a-year tourism ambassadorial role. 

Messi could be about to join his long-standing rival Cristiano Ronaldo in the Saudi Pro League 

Messi released a video apologising for his unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia last week

Messi’s trip went down very badly with the French giants who suspended him for two weeks.

PSG’s players had a scheduled day off on the Monday but following their 3-1 defeat to Lorient the previous day, manager Christophe Galtier ordered them in for extra training.

Messi, however, was already in transit to Saudi Arabia and wasn’t able to turn back.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner issued a grovelling apology via social media in which he said: ‘Hello. Well, I wanted to make this video after everything that’s going on.

‘First of all, I apologise again to my team-mates at the club. I honestly thought that we were going to have the day off after the game as we had done before.

‘I had organised this trip to Saudi Arabia, which I had previously cancelled and I couldn’t go. Once again, I apologise for what I did. So here I am, waiting to see what the club wants to do, nothing more. A hug.’ 

PSG tweeted out a photograph of Messi on the ball in training on Monday afternoon

The 35-year-old (pictured alongside Antonela) signed a £25m-a-year deal with Saudi Arabia last year to become a tourism ambassador 

Roccuzzo (left) would prefer the family stay in Europe, something Messi (right) would also prefer – though he has a large offer on the table to mull over from Saudi side Al Hilal

Messi though has now returned to training after his suspension was lifted. 

During the family’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia, Messi along with Antonela and his children were photographed enjoying attractions in the capital Riyadh and Diriyah. 

Messi is concentrating on the season’s finale with Paris Saint-Germain and wants to end the campaign with the French league title.

Spanish outlet El Chiringuito reported Messi could be joined at Al-Hilal by his former Barcelona team-mate Sergio Busquets, who will accept a two-season deal, and potentially also Jordi Alba.

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