Lionel Messi is close to agreeing a deal with MLS side Inter Miami for next season, according to reports.
Messi will become a free agent in the summer of 2023 when his current contract at Paris Saint-Germain expires, and the Times claim he is ready for the United States.
The 35-year-old will become the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer history if the deal goes ahead for him to join David Beckham’s Phil Neville-coached franchise.
As well as signing the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner and arguably the greatest player to ever play, Inter Miami are also keen to strengthen with Messi’s good friend Luis Suarez as well as Cesc Fabregas.
Meanwhile, the Barca legend Sergio Busquets has long been linked with the party, and reports claim the deal could be done as well.
These three all-time greats played alongside Messi during trophy-laden spells at Barcelona, the club where Messi became a legend of the game with four Champions League victories, including two European hat-tricks.
Messi left his almost lifelong club in tears in 2021 when the Catalans’ finances made it impossible to re-sign, instead joining PSG on a two-year contract.
Both European giants were keen to secure the Argentine for the 2023/24 season but now it looks like he will be heading to the United States.
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Both co-owner Beckham and manager Neville discussed the team’s ambitions to sign top players, with the latter saying: “This club will always want to bring a superstar to Miami, and a lot of top players want to come here because of where we are.”
Inter Miami have already secured star signings such as Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, despite only having been around since 2020.
Last year, Neville narrowly guided the team into the MLS play-offs for the first time and had his contract extended for a year despite being eliminated in the first round.
Messi has previously spoken of his aspirations to play in the United States and has a home in Miami.
“I would like to play in the United States one day; it has always been one of my dreams,” he told Spanish media last year.
The Argentina captain recently scored his second goal of the 2022 World Cup in stunning fashion to help his side overtake Mexico and recover from a first loss to Saudi Arabia.
The former Barcelona side had previously expressed their aspirations for a Messi return, but with the team absent from the Champions League this season, their well-publicized finances appear to have taken another critical hit.
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