In a report published by Le Parisien on its Wednesday edition, more details about Lionel Messi's trip to Saudi Arabia at the start of the week were revealed.
This controversial, sponsored, promotional trip to Saudi Arabia, which has caused an uproar within PSG, was originally scheduled for March but was postponed twice.
According to Le Parisien, the first postponement happened after PSG's Champions League exit against Bayern Munich. The second one took place at a later unknown date, due to unforeseen circumstances most probably related to PSG's bad league results.
The trip was eventually rescheduled for the first week of May without regard for PSG's situation, form, or results in the French top-flight division. Messi knew about this and he also knew that Monday's training session would have been canceled only if PSG defeated Lorient, which the team didn't on Sunday.
The club's president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, and sporting director, Luis Campos, reportedly vetoed the trip and were shocked not to find Messi at the Camp des Loges with the rest of his teammates on Monday morning.
According to sources, Messi's contract as a tourism ambassador would have earned him "around €10m per year" coming from the Saudi coffers.
Saudi club Al-Hilal has reportedly offered a lucrative sum to persuade him to join, although Messi had previously not been interested in joining the Middle Eastern team. However, following his suspension from PSG, he may now consider offers from clubs such as Al-Hilal and his former team, Barcelona, along with the possibility of moving to the United States as early as next summer to sign with Inter Miami.
It is worth noting that tensions between Qatar, PSG's owners, and Saudi Arabia have been ongoing, with the two nations being involved in a diplomatic crisis since 2017. This context may have contributed to the sensitivity surrounding Messi's promotional trip to Saudi Arabia, and will inevitably lead to his exit from Paris next July when he becomes a free agent.