Lionel Messi is close to an agreement to join MLS franchise Inter Miami at the end of the 2022-23 European season, according to a report in The Times.
The Argentina superstar is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the campaign and has been continually linked with a return to Barcelona, whom he left in 2021, but The Times reports Messi will instead move to MLS.
Inter Miami are said to be ‘confident’ Messi will sign following the conclusion of the World Cup in Qatar, where he has scored in both of Argentina’s group stage matches, though he would not move until the conclusion of PSG’s season.
Co-owned by David Beckham, Inter Miami will reportedly make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history and they are considering further additions to complement his arrival.
Luis Suarez and Cesc Fabregas, Messi’s former team-mates at Barcelona, are specifically named as options, the former having enjoyed a brief second stint Uruguayan side Nacional earlier this year while Fabregas is in the Italian second tier with Como.
A move for Messi would occur midway through the MLS season, which begins in February, and would provide a huge boost to North American soccer ahead of the World Cup in 2026, which the USA will host alongside Canada and Mexico.
1 – Lionel Messi is now both the youngest (18y 357d vs Serbia in 2006) and the oldest (35y 155d vs Mexico today) player to both score and assist in a single World Cup game since the start of the 1966 tournament. Longevity. pic.twitter.com/e6Ak6fmI8l
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 26, 2022
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