Paris Saint-Germain suspended Lionel Messi for two weeks without pay for an unauthorized trip to Saudi Arabia, French media confirmed Tuesday.
The L’Equipe newspaper reported that the Argentine superstar would not be able to play or train, and will not be paid while suspended.
Messi will miss the Ligue 1 match against Troyes on May 7 and one against Ajaccio on May 13.
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The 35-year-old netted 20 goals and assisted 19 in 37 matches this season.
Messi guided Argentina to the 2022 World Cup title by defeating 2018 champions France 4-2 on penalties in Qatar.
Messi’s suspension came after he played the full 90 minutes in PSG’s home defeat to Lorient on Sunday. PSG is currently five points clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table with five games to go, and they are looking to clinch their ninth league title in 11 seasons. However, it seems that Messi’s future lies elsewhere, with reports suggesting that Barcelona is looking to bring him back to the Nou Camp.
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Barcelona is reportedly in talks with LaLiga about generating more flexibility in their Financial Fair Play ratio. The club is hoping to make Messi a contract offer this summer and bring him back to Barcelona for what is likely to be his last year in European football. However, the club will have to move players on to accommodate Messi’s return, as they are at the very limit of what they can spend.
Meanwhile, Messi has already been offered a one-year deal worth a reported £400m to play for Saudi Arabian side Al Hilal. However, it is unclear whether their offer had any connection with his recent trip to Saudi Arabia. Messi already serves as a tourism ambassador to the Middle Eastern country.