Al-Hilal have improved Lionel Messi’s salary offer to more than $500 million a year according to Catalan businessman Jaume Roures.
Roures, who owns Mediapro, backed current FC Barcelona president Joan Laporta when he put up a €30 million ($32.5 million) guarantee so Laporta could be installed after winning the 2021 election.
Then in the summer of 2022, he came to the club’s rescue by buying 24.5% of Barca Studios for €100m ($108m) in what became known as the fourth ‘economic lever’.
Leverage famously helped Barca sign new players such as Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha. They collectively helped Barca to their first La Liga title in four years, and now that the Catalans are officially champions, attention has turned to signings for the 2023/2024 season.
Chief among the priorities in the transfer market is the club’s biggest player Lionel Messi, whose Paris Saint-Germain contract expires on June 30, 2023.
During an appearance on Chain BE and its what are you playing with? Wednesday night’s programme, the well-informed Roures spoke about the possibility of Messi returning for a second stint at the Blaugrana and revealed information about Al-Hilal’s pursuit of the Argentine.
“I think it’s possible that it will come back, even though the Saudis have increased the amount by over $500 million a year,” Roures said.
“The experience in Paris was not compensatory and everyone saw how Cristiano is in Saudi Arabia and how badly he is going through it. Leo has always said that he wants to return to Barcelona and that is a weighing factor,” Roures added.
While The National provided for that the operation will accelerate in a month, Roures expects strong developments much sooner.
“In May? I think so, it will have to be decided in May,” he said.
And Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, in an official statement, and Al-Hilal, that Sports worlddenied that there was any deal between the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and the Saudis.
Meanwhile, Laporta has vowed to do “everything” to re-sign Messi, who will be offered 25 million euros ($27 million) a year in La Liga according to SPORTS.
Forbes – Business