Former Manchester City and Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri has slammed Paris Saint-Germain for suspending Lionel Messi for two weeks after his unauthorised visit to Saudi Arabia.
The Argentina international was given a two weeks ban without pay by PSG and was asked not to train with the first team after travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform his ambassadorial duties without informing the club. His trip came a day after PSG’s 3-1 Ligue 1 home loss against Lorient, infuriating the club.
However, upon returning from the trip after five days, Messi tendered a public apology and was allowed back into training with the senior team. Furthermore, recent reports suggest that PSG are even working on making him available for their weekend game against AC Ajaccio, which is the opposite of their earlier announcement.
That decision by the Parc des Princes side does not sit well with Nasri, who blasted them for their stance on the incident.
Speaking to Canal+ via Sportskeeda, Nasri said: “Paris’s sanction against Messi was a stupid idea. But what message do you send when you suspend him for two weeks, and after five days, you reinstate him? Now, either he ends his beautiful story with Barça, or he will take a lot of money in Saudi Arabia. It’s 400 million euros a year anyway.”
Lionel Messi is expected to move to a new club this summer as his contract with PSG will expire in June.
Barcelona and Saudi Pro League side Al-Hilal are two sides leading the chase for his signature, while MLS side Inter Miami are also interested.
But speaking about Messi’s chances of ending up in Barca, Nasri stated that he doubts the Catalan club have the financial ability to pay the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.
“Barça are interested, but to pay it is another story,” he said.
Messi returning from suspension will boost Christophe Galtier’s team, who have just four games to defend their status as the Ligue 1 champions successfully. The Paris-based club have 78 points from 34 matches and are six points ahead of second-placed Lens.