Newcastle United owners table world-record Lionel Messi bid - and hold talks with Chelsea duo

Saudi Arabia’s bid to attract some of world’s most iconic players is intensifying after PIF’s confirmed involvement.
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Newcastle United’s Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia owners are reportedly prepared to pay Lionel Messi £1billion to bring him to the Gulf kingdom.

It was announced on Monday that PIF had taken a 75 per-cent stake in four Saudi Pro League teams - Al Ahli, Al Nassr, Al Hilal and Al Ittihad - as part of Saudi Arabia’s sports clubs investment and privatization project. The other 25 per-cent was given to non-profit foundations.

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Al Nassr signed Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo back in January following his release from Manchester United, and his arrival is set to be the first of many superstar names.

Indeed, Real Madrid legend Karim Benzema is set to sign a three-year deal with Al-Ittihad - worth a reported £86million-a-season. And according to CBS Sports, Al Hilal are expecting a decision from Messi, a free agent after leaving PSG, by the end of the week.

The report claims Saudi sources have long been confident that they’ll win the race for Messi, who is also wanted by Barcelona and Inter Miami, and plans have been made for him to arrive in the kingdom later this week.

Meanwhile, Chelsea duo Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and N’Golo Kante could also be heading to Saudi Arabia. As per transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Al Ahli and Al Shabab have approached Aubameyang to discuss a potential move.

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Saudi emissaries have reportedly been in London to submit an offer to Kante, which could reach €100m inclusive of the image rights and commercial deals. Al Ittihad and Al Nassr are viewed as potential destinations.

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