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Lionel Messi makes stunning transfer U-turn in $1.2bn as Mauricio Pochettino gets double Chelsea blow

Lionel Messi has chosen where he will play football in the upcoming season.

Chelsea Transfer News:

Lionel Messi reportedly declines a contract in the Middle East worth $1.2 billion.

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According to Spanish football analyst Guillem Balague, Lionel Messi has made the unexpected decision not to play in Saudi Arabia after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires.

It had been thought that the World Cup winner from Argentina would join former rivals Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in the rapidly expanding Saudi league.

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Lionel Messi contract in the Middle East was reportedly a $1.2 billion offer.

Lionel Messi now appears to have rejected that and will go back to the initial course of action he had. Late in 2022, it came to light that Messi was considering playing for Inter Miami, a new MLS team that was partially owned by the iconic David Beckham of Manchester United and England.

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Although the possibility of a miraculous return to Barcelona was also mentioned, it appeared that a move to America at the conclusion of his two-year contract in Paris would be finalized. A fairytale ending is no longer possible.

Messi has reportedly reached an agreement in principle with Inter Miami and will join them this summer, according to Balague and other sources. The team recently fired manager Phil Neville, but will be replacing him with the all-time great Messi.

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Messi’s departure from PSG was announced by Christophe Galtier, the club’s manager, after a difficult 24 months in France. He stated:

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football. It will be Leo’s last match at the Parc des Princes against Clermont.”

His next game may well now be in America, where Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is from and it would be understandable if the businessman wasn’t tinged with some regret. He has been keen on making a statement signing such as Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo since taking over and now appears to have lost out on the chance to make such a dream become reality.

The news comes just one day after it was revealed that N’Golo Kante, a Chelsea player, will be joining Benzema and Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia after a lucrative offer was made to the Frenchman. There has been speculation that the 32-year-old will stay at Stamford Bridge and help Mauricio Pochettino rebuild.

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Elsewhere, it effectively eliminates the possibility of Messi reuniting with fellow countryman and former PSG manager Pochettino. He will take over at Stamford Bridge on July 1 and has been a long-time admirer of Messi.

“Messi is this type of player, for me the best in the world today, better than Cristiano Ronaldo and he can decide a game,” he said in November 2021. “[Diego] Maradona, for my generation, is always a very special player. When I was a child Maradona was like a god.

“It is difficult in your mind to change your view and say Messi is better or Ronaldo is better, but right now Messi is the best in the world. And if I didn’t coach Messi, I would still say Messi. I answer with my heart. I always say what I feel.”

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