LIONEL MESSI is wanted by Saudi Pro League title challengers Al-Ittihad, reports suggest.
The club are two points behind Cristiano Ronaldo’s table toppers Al-Nassr, and now want to level the playing field by bringing in their own superstar.
According to a report from Marca, Al-Ittihad want to offer Messi a contract worth £78million per year on a two-year contract.
The report adds talks may have already begun between representatives of both sides.
However, this deal is of a far lower value than what Al-Nassr currently pay Ronaldo.
The 38-year-old joined the club in December after his contract at Manchester United was ripped up following a bombshell interview with Piers Morgan.
And he was offered an eye-watering £173m-a-year deal to leave European football behind.
Messi has a contract at Paris Saint-Germain worth £25m a year net according to The Athletic – though the deal had huge sign-on and additional bonuses.
PSG want him to sign a new deal and continue his blossoming partnership with Kylian Mbappe.
But clubs including Barcelona and Inter Miami are also interested in his signature just like Al-Ittihad, with Messi entering free agency in the summer.
The Saudi side have not won the league since 2008/09, and are desperate to beat Al-Nassr and Al-Halil – another team with a reported interest in Messi – to the title.
Al-Ittihad are currently coached by former Wolves and Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santi