(Reuters) – Argentina’s World Cup-winning coach Lionel Scaloni said he does not care where Lionel Messi plays his club football as long as he feels comfortable and happy.
Messi’s future at Paris Saint Germain has been the subject of much speculation over the last week after the Qatari-owned club suspended him for taking a trip to Saudi Arabia and missing a training session.
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.
Messi’s father, however, denied any agreement had been reached with another team and said that no decisions would be made until the end of the current season.
“Let him go to where he will feel comfortable with his team mates and the club’s fans,” Scaloni told Qatar’s Al-Kass channel.
“The matter does not affect us as a national team as long as he’s happy when he joins us and we need him to be happy.”
Messi, who apologised to PSG and his team mates last week, returned to training on Monday.
A source close to Messi told Reuters that he had received a formal offer to join the Saudi club Al-Hilal next season, with a contract renewal at PSG not on the cards for the World Cup winner.
The oil-rich nation appointed Messi, who turns 36 next month, as a tourism ambassador last year and he visited Jeddah in May 2022.
He returned in January to play a friendly match with PSG against a Saudi All Stars team, which included Cristiano Ronaldo – Messi’s rival for the title of best player of his generation.
(Reporting by Shady Amir, editing by Nick Mulvenney and Peter Rutherford)