Inter Miami is growing increasingly confident that it can acquire current PSG superstar Lionel Messi. The 35-year-old Argentina forward’s contract with the Parisians expires in the summer of 2023. Therefore, his options are available elsewhere, should he desire to leave France.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports Lionel Messi and Inter Miami have had conversations over a potential transfer for years. Now, the MLS club is the leading candidate to sign the Argentine. However, there is interest coming out of Messi’s former club, Barcelona. Also, the Parisians are pushing hard for a contract extension to further a dominant triumvirate up top.
Joan Laporta, the president of FC Barcelona, says bringing Messi back is a personal priority. Joan Domènech of El Periodico claimed in late September there is a realistic chance Messi rejoins Barcelona for the 2023/24 campaign.
However, with Inter Miami now emerging as the frontrunner, there is more conversation surrounding the legend’s future.
Lionel Messi linked heavily to Inter Miami
After struggling in his first season in France, Messi returned to his brilliant best over the last several weeks. In four Champions League games, Messi has four goals and three assists. Domestically, he racked up seven goals and a further 10 assists in 12 games.
The uptick in form illustrates what a monumental signing this would be for MLS. While the league continues to move away from the ‘retirement league’ slanders from European players, Messi is clearly still one of the world’s best players. A few years ago, the transfer of Zlatan Ibrahimovic had profound impacts on the league and LA Galaxy.
For Inter Miami in particular, a transfer of Lionel Messi would be colossal. The club got off to a rocky start since launching in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic stunted its inaugural season. Yet, after finishing eleventh out of 14 Eastern Conference teams in 2021, Inter Miami managed its first playoff berth in 2022. The club lost to NYCFC in the first round, 3-0.
With Lionel Messi’s former international teammate Gonzalo Higuain retiring from the club, Inter Miami could use Lionel Messi as more than a spark to get fans into the stadium. Messi galvanizes an Inter Miami side trying to break through into MLS success.
PHOTO: IMAGO / PanoramiC