Fabrizio Romano links Messi with imminent move to Ronaldo's Saudi rivals

The fallout from Lionel Messi's unauthorized use of PTO to go on a quick jaunt to Saudi Arabia continued Wednesday with our transfer lord and savior Fabrizio Romano drawing the line on the Argentine's time in Paris.

"Messi will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season. There are no doubts about that anymore," Romano tweeted. "Behind the scenes, it's now understood that Leo's father Jorge communicated the decision to PSG already one month ago."

One month ago, Romano reported that Messi wanted to stay in Europe but had also just received an official bid from Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal with a contract offer worth $442 million per year. Cristiano Ronaldo, currently the highest-paid athlete on the planet, earns $220 million a year with Al-Nassr.  

You can obviously now draw a connection between the timing of Al Hilal's offer and Messi informing PSG that he wasn't interested in exercising the contractual option for a third season at the Parc des Princes.

Messi's trip to Saudi Arabia also makes a lot more sense in this light. With PSG coming off a 3-1 defeat to Lorient and only holding a five-point lead over Marseille with five games to go, the mini-vacation made zero sense. But if Messi's already on his way to Saudi Arabia then he's clearly like an employee who's just handed in their two weeks' notice. But instead of even allowing him to continue to go into the office, PSG suspended him for two weeks and docked his pay. 

It feels like Messi has played his last game in Paris (unless they want the Ultras, who've been jeering him since PSG's UCL elimination, to riot inside the stadium), and all signs point to Messi's Al Hilal vs. Ronaldo's Al-Nassr in the ultimate spectacle of sportswashing.

Barcelona and Inter Miami don't have the levers for this one.

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