Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, has denied reports the forward has an agreement in place to move to Saudi Arabia next season when his Paris Saint-Germain contract expires.
“There is absolutely nothing [in place] with any club for next season,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “The decision will never be taken before Lionel finishes the league campaign with PSG.
“Once the season ends, that will be the moment to analyse things and see what options there are and to take a decision.
“There are always rumours and many use Lionel’s name to gain notoriety, but there is only one truth and it is that we can assure there is nothing [agreed] with anyone. Not verbal, not signed, no pacts. And there won’t be until the end of the season.
“It is disrespectful towards other media that there are people that consciously and deliberately deceive without supplying any evidence, wanting to turn rumours with ill intentions into news to favour their own interests. They should have to explain why they don’t verify their information. They don’t want the truth to ruin their ‘news.'”
Messi, 35, is out of contract in June, and his future remains uncertain. Sources told ESPN last week he will leave PSG after two years in France, but his next move remains unknown.
While a switch to Saudi Arabia is not closed, sources have previously told ESPN that Messi is considering a move to join Al Hilal, the city rivals of Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr.
However, there is also interest from Major League Soccer and his former club Barcelona, who have a number of financial hurdles to clear before being able to commit to an offer to the Argentina international.
Barca have to make massive savings to be able to register new contracts handed out to current players and new signings with LaLiga, but have submitted a viability plan to the league detailing how they intend to make cutbacks and increase revenue.
Messi, meanwhile, returned to PSG training on Monday just one week after being handed a two-week ban for skipping a session to fulfil a commercial trip to Saudi Arabia.
He missed the weekend’s win over Troyes as a result but, following an apology posted on social media last Friday, had his ban reduced, sources have told ESPN, meaning he could be involved on Saturday against Ajaccio.
PSG, knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich in the last 16, are six points clear at the top of Ligue 1 with just four games to play.me