Julian LawrenceReporter3 minutes to read
Sources told ESPN that Paris Saint-Germain suspended Lionel Messi for two weeks due to his absence from training on Monday to travel to Saudi Arabia.
Messi will not train or play with the first team and will not be paid for his suspension.
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The French newspaper L’Equipe reported for the first time that Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier told his players that they would have two days off, Monday and Tuesday, if they beat Lorient on Sunday, but the defeat would lead to the players being called up for training on Monday. .
Messi, 35, asked if he would be allowed to travel to the Persian Gulf to honor his sponsorship deal as Saudi ambassador, and Galtier and sporting director Luis Campos gave him the go-ahead to go on a win or draw, but not a defeat.
However, following PSG’s 3-1 defeat at Lorient – the third loss in his last four league matches – Messi traveled to Saudi Arabia without asking permission again, sources have told ESPN, meaning he will not be able to attend training on Monday.
Sources told ESPN that the situation caused tensions within the dressing room, with some players unhappy about the incident.
The situation surrounding the World Cup winner is further complicated by his ongoing negotiations over a contract extension.
Messi’s deal at the Parc des Princes is set to expire at the end of the season.
Barcelona are looking into the possibility of re-signing Messi, although La Liga president Javier Tebas has warned that the league will not change its financial fair play rules to allow him to return. It is also subject to interest from Al-Hilal Saudi Club and Inter Miami Football Club.