Saudi Pro League 'to allow more foreign players in bid to lure Messi'

Lionel Messi is a ‘top target for multiple Saudi clubs’… with the Pro League set to ‘change its rules to allow MORE foreign players’ in a bid to tempt the Argentine star over to the Middle East to join long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo

  • The Saudi Pro League is set to increase the limit on the number of foreign players
  • They want to allow their clubs to sign more top stars from European football
  • PSG forward Lionel Messi is being targeted by multiple Saudi clubs  

The Saudi Pro League is set to adjust its rules in a bid to lure Lionel Messi over to the Middle East to join long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports.

Ronaldo put pen to paper on a £175m-a-year contract with Al-Nassr last month, and Saudi Arabia’s top division has now set its sights on landing Messi as well.

Saudi clubs are currently allowed to register seven foreign players, but that number is set to increase to eight to allow more stars from Europe to play in the league, as reported by ESPN.

Argentine and PSG star Lionel Messi is reportedly wanted by multiple Saudi clubs

The Saudi Pro League is set to increase its foreign player limit in a bid to land Messi

Messi is the biggest star in Europe right now, fresh off the back of winning the World Cup with Argentina, and he would be a top target for a number of clubs in Saudi Arabia, according to the report.

The 35-year-old is currently pondering his club future, with his contract at French champions PSG set to expire at the end of the season.

He had looked set to agree a new one-year deal after agreeing terms with the club, but he is now reportedly reconsidering his options.

This offers Saudi Pro League clubs hope in their pursuit of the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, and he has been linked with a move to the Middle East in recent weeks.

Messi’s father and agent Jorge was rumoured to be in Riyadh earlier this month to discuss a potential deal with Al-Hilal, who are reportedly willing to offer Messi £245m-a-year, making him the highest-paid player in the world.

Messi could re-ignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo if he moves to the Saudi Pro League

Further reports have also claimed that Al-Ittihad are happy to trump this proposal by giving Messi an eye-watering £306m-a-year.

Should Messi accept either of these offers, he would re-ignite his rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, with the two best players of their generation going head to head once more in Saudi Arabia.

Messi and Ronaldo were both on the pitch last week in Riyadh as they took part in a friendly between PSG and a Saudi All-Star XI.

Messi scored the opening goal of the game, but was upstaged by Ronaldo who netted twice, although it was PSG who picked up a 5-4 victory.

That match looked like potentially being the final time that Messi and Ronaldo would play against each other, but that may no longer be the case, with the Saudi Pro League looking at making it easier to bring in players from Europe moving forward.

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