Messi set for decision on future – and it won’t be Barcelona

Lionel Messi is expected to decide in the coming hours where he will be playing his football next season – the only thing that seems certain is that it will not be at Barcelona.

Messi would have liked nothing more than to return to the place that was his home since he left Argentina as a 12-year-old in pursuit of his footballing dream.

But his camp has told Barcelona the decision on his future is imminent and they cannot wait any longer for a proposal from them that has not arrived, despite promises the Catalan club would have something in place by now.

The 35-year-old World Cup winner wants to stay in Europe but, after it was decided he would leave Paris St-Germain this summer, the forthcoming offers from the continent have not been attractive enough.

In Saudi Arabia there are government officials already working on his arrival. They have been told Messi has accepted a very lucrative offer from Al-Hilal and are preparing for the move. This could simply be his camp preparing for his decision – or it is the most attractive proposition for the player.

American side Inter Miami are another option, although a reported loan deal between them and Barcelona – where he would end up temporarily at the Catalan club – is not on the cards.

The timing and announcement of his decision will be decided by his new club.