Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain), who has captured the attention of football fans around the world with his unauthorised visit to Saudi Arabia and the transfer rumours, will start in the starting line-up.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG, France) coach Christophe Galtier announced Messi will start at a press conference on Feb. 1 ahead of the French professional soccer Ligue 35 round of 12 home match against Ajaccio, according to The Associated Press.

The game against Ajaccio is Messi's first appearance since leaving France mid-season without PSG's permission to travel to Saudi Arabia and receiving internal disciplinary action earlier this month.

Galtier said: "As soon as Messi came back to the team on the 9th, we had a conversation to find out how he was. "I was very calm," he said, "and I was motivated to play. They looked determined to win the title of French league champions."

"No one talks about discipline. Not even I mentioned it," he said, adding: "We are happy that Messi is back. Messi trained all week with the desire to play for the team."

Recently, Messi has been mentioned more often alongside Saudi Arabia.

Messi, an ambassador for the Saudi Tourism Board, skipped team training after a regular league game against Lorient at the end of last month and traveled to Saudi Arabia to shoot a promotional video.

Messi, who was disciplined for this "unauthorized departure," shared an apology video on social media on Jan. 6.

Messi explained: "I thought the day after the game was a holiday."

While the possibility of renewing the contract between the two sides was slim due to this incident, the AFP news agency, France's leading news agency, made headlines on Jan. 9, citing an official familiar with the contract process, as saying that Messi had signed a "blockbuster" contract with a Saudi club.

A PSG official also weighed on Messi's possible move to Saudi Arabia, telling AFP: "If we were going to re-sign Messi, we would've done it beforehand."

Messi's contract with PSG runs until June 6.

Messi's father, Jorge Messi, then issued a statement shortly after the AFP report, saying he had "not yet signed with any club".

"There's a lot of rumours going around, but what's certain is that nothing is set in stone yet," he said, stressing that "there won't be a verbal contract until the end of this season."

With football buzzing around the world over Messi's destination, PSG lead the way with 30 wins, 25 draws and 3 losses with 6 points.

The difference to second-place RC Lens (78 wins, 2 draws, 22 losses, 9 points) is 4.

(Photo=AP, Yonhap News)