Exclusive: Lionel Messi asks to DELAY Al-Hilal move until 2024 as he angles for Barcelona return



Posted Tuesday, June 06, 2023 by Goal.com

Exclusive: Lionel Messi asks to DELAY Al-Hilal move until 2024 as he angles for Barcelona return

Lionel Messi has asked Saudi side Al-Hilal to delay his move there until 2024, GOAL understands, fuelling speculation of a reunion with Barcelona.

WHAT HAPPENED? The Argentine's entourage held a meeting with a Saudi delegation on Monday and requested that they postpone an expected move to the Pro League until 2024, according to GOAL sources. However, the Saudi representatives were surprised by the news, and told Messi's camp that their offer next year will be different from the €500-million-per year (£435m/$541m) deal currently on the table.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi's decision comes just hours after his father, Jorge, admitted that he would love to return to Barcelona, and La Liga accepted the Blaugrana's so-called financial viability plan to permit the second coming of the club legend. The two parties met this morning, with a deal potentially on the cards. His departure from Paris Saint-Germain has already been confirmed. Jorge Messi conceded that his son could play in Catalonia again next year, telling Jijantes FC that "Messi would love to return".

WHAT NEXT? Messi appears to be inching towards a move back to his former club. But there remains the possibility of other destinations, with Inter Miami and several Premier League sides also linked.



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