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IPFS News Link • Entertainment: Sports

Messi in Talks for $400m Saudi Deal, Telegraph Says

•, Brandon Sapienza

The deal, which is being negotiated by Messi's father, would far exceed the more than $200 million deal Cristiano Ronaldo signed to play in Saudi Arabia until the summer of 2025.

The Argentine World Cup champion was suspended on Tuesday by his current club Paris Saint-Germain for two weeks after traveling to Saudi Arabia without permission from the organization. Messi had previously agreed to a deal in principle to stay with PSG, but following the disciplinary action, he will not renew his contract, BBC reported.

Read More: The Country Where Bankers' Pay Is Booming - Saudi Arabia

The potential signing would be the latest move by Saudi Arabia to upend the world of professional sports. In addition to the recent signing of Ronaldo, the country has financed the LIV Golf league and its sovereign wealth fund purchased Premier League club Newcastle United.

The Saudi sovereign wealth fund also mulled adding Formula 1 motor racing to its sports investments, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in January.

The PIF's investments in sports and competitive gaming — and moves to bring major sporting events to the kingdom — are partly an attempt to boost Saudi soft power, while critics say such deals are "sportswashing," an attempt to improve the nation's image and divert attention from a poor human rights record.