Lionel Messi trains with PSG ahead of his potential return against Ajaccio following a club suspension… but doubts continue over his future amid ongoing links to a £522million Saudi Arabian deal
- Lionel Messi was suspended last week but has since returned to PSG training
- Reports on Tuesday said Messi had signed a £522m deal with Saudi side Al-Hilal
- Messi’s father has denied any agreement had been reached with another team
Lionel Messi has continued his return to Paris Saint-Germain training after his suspension was lifted by the club following his unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia.
The Argentina World Cup winner returned to the fold on Monday after issuing an apology to his team-mates for the trip, which had led to him missing training.
The apology and PSG docking some of his wages led to Messi’s return after initially being suspended for two weeks.
Messi is expected to be back in contention for PSG’s home fixture with Ajaccio on Saturday, with the reigning champions seeking to close in on defending the Ligue 1 title.
PSG hold a six point led over second place Lens with four matches left to play.
Lionel Messi was seen in PSG training on Thursday after a club suspension was lifted
Messi had been sanctioned by the club over a unauthorised trip to Saudi Arabia last week
Messi had returned to training on Monday after he had issued an apology on social media
Should Messi be involved he would have only missed one match due to his suspension, a 3-1 victory over Troyes on Sunday.
The home match could see PSG supporters express their opinions on his unsanctioned trip to Saudi Arabia with Messi having recently received jeers at recent matches.
A group of fans had also gathered outside the club headquarters last Wednesday to chant for the PSG board to resign and for Messi to leave the club.
Messi, wife Antonela Roccuzzo and children Ciro and Mateo, travelled to Saudi Arabia last Monday as part of his £25million-a-year role as an ambassador for the country.
They were photographed enjoying attractions in the capital Riyadh and Diriyah.
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 was already in transit to Saudi Arabia and wasn’t able to turn back.
On Friday, Messi apologised in a social media message to the club and his team-mates for missing the training session.
Messi’s trip to Saudi Arabia will his family led to renewed links with a transfer in the summer
The star signed a £25m-a-year deal with Saudi Arabia last year to be a tourism ambassador
Messi could help PSG secure the Ligue 1 title with his future set to be decided in the summer
‘I thought we were going to have a day off after the game as always,’ Messi began in the 39-second clip shared onto his Instagram story.
‘I had this trip organised and I couldn’t cancel it. I had already cancelled it before. I apologise to my team-mates and I’m waiting for what the club wants to do with me.’
Securing the title could be one of Messi’s final acts at the club, with the 35-year-old’s future continuing to be the subject of much speculation over the last week following the suspension.
French media on Tuesday reported that a move to a Saudi club was a ‘done deal’, adding that the Argentina captain was in the process of finalising details before signing a contract.
Reports in Spain suggest Messi will play for Saudi club Al-Hilal next season, having agreed a deal worth £260m-a-year.
However, Messi’s father Jorge denied any agreement had been reached with another club and said that no decisions would be made until the end of the current campaign.
Man City boss Pep Guardiola, who coached Messi at Barcelona, has expressed hope he will return to the Catalan club to receive the send-off he ‘deserves’.
MLS side Inter Miami also remain keen on signing the Argentine superstar, with their offer reportedly ‘still on the table.’