Buenos Aires, Feb 11: Lionel Messi is set to miss Argentina's friendly against Morocco next month and reportedly it will cost the national side a whopping £385,000.
The Argentine captain has been in self-imposed exile since last year's disastrous FIFA World Cup. The South American giants led by the Argentine star sneaked through a group containing Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland before bowing out to eventual champions France.
Since then, the Barcelona attacker has not appeared a single time for the national side but he was widely expected to make his return in March.
Argentina will play two friendlies in March, the first one against Venezuela in Madrid on March 22 and the second one against Morocco in Rabat on March 26 as coach Lionel Scaloni begins his preparations for the Copa America qualifiers.
However, dealing a blow to the Albiceleste as per the latest rumours, the Argentine will again sit out in these fixtures, prolonging his ambitious return further.
The absence besides will hand his national side a big chunk of money. Argentina are to be paid £850,000 for the game against Morocco but only on a condition that Messi plays the game. However, with reports of him missing the tie, the fee might now drop to £465,000, costing Argentina a massive £385,000.
Argentina although have not announced the squad yet, but while addressing the issue recently the Argentine coach did not provide any positive update regarding the little talisman.
"I have not talked to Messi for a while now," Scaloni said at that time.
"We will speak with Leo in the days before the March list. When the time is right we will speak.
"I hope he can be here but more than that, we want him to be happy. I have a good feeling."