MLS English

MLS’ Miami in talks over Messi move

Lionel Messi could still be moving to Inter Miami as part of a new 10-year deal the Argentinian maestro is negotiating with Barcelona, claims the owners of the Major League Soccer side on Wednesday.

The Miami Herald keenly reported that Inter Miami owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham have had “serious talks” with Messi about joining the Florida franchise for a short-term stint that will be built into his new Barcelona contract.

Further reports in Spain allege that under the new deal proposed by Barcelona, Messi will play two more seasons with the La Liga giants through to the end of the 2022-2023 campaign before ending his playing career with two corresponding seasons in Miami before returning to Barcelona for six years in a “global ambassador” role.

Inter owner Mas told the Herald that he was optimistic that Messi would eventually play in Miami.

“David and I have been working really hard, we have aspirations of bringing the best players here and Leo Messi is a generational player, arguably the best player of all time,” Mas said.

“I am optimistic Messi will play in an Inter Miami shirt because I think it will complete the legacy of the greatest player in our generation and will meet with the ambitions of the owners of Inter Miami to build a world class team.”

Speculation about Messi’s future has continued to intensify with the 33-year-old out of contract with Barcelona at the end of this month, and the six-time Ballon D’Or winner told Spanish television in an intimate interview last December he hoped to play in MLS eventually.

“I always had the dream of being able to enjoy and have the experience of living in the United States, experience what the league there is like,” Messi told the La Sexta channel in an interview.

Inter co-owner Beckham meanwhile said in February the club was working to entice star players of the caliber of Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the club.

“We always want to bring in great players,” Beckham said.

“Miami is a great pull for anyone and those kinds of players (Messi and Ronaldo) are the kind we aspire to bring here.”