Lionel Messi is reportedly close to agreeing a deal with MLS side Inter Miami at the end of the European football season.
The Times reports that the David Beckham co-owned franchise is confident the football superstar will move on from Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the 2022/23 season.
The Miami side will look to make the Argentine the highest-paid player in the history of the American league.
According to The Times, Inter Miami will also look to recruit two former Barcelona teammates of Messi’s in Cesc Fabregas and Luis Suarez in order to further strengthen their case for Messi.
Fellow Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas has made no secret of wanting to lure one of the greatest football players of all time to the club.
He told Sport Central in July: “Well, look, both David Beckham and I aspire to bring the best players in the world here to Miami, not only because of the project we are creating.
“We want to be the point of reference for soccer in the United States, but when you talk about the best players in the world, Leo is obviously the best player on the planet.
“Hopefully the conditions will be met for him to be there, playing with the Inter Miami jersey. We aspire to that. I hope the circumstances are given.
“We have nothing guaranteed, there is no agreement, but I am a very optimistic man and I hope that in the future Leo Messi can be part of our project.”
Meanwhile, coach Phil Neville confirmed the club’s ambitions to sign the 35-year-old in an interview with The Times.
He said: “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.”
The Times claims that Messi is very much interested in the deal, already owning a home in Miami where he holidays with his family.
He told Spanish media last year: “I would like to play in the United States one day; it’s always been one of my dreams.”
With his contract with PSG up at the end of the season, he’ll be free to move wherever he likes.
However, the Paris club may yet attempt to extend Messi’s stay at Parc des Princes.
David Beckham’s influence is said to be a key part of the deal, with the former England international having a direct line to the owners of PSG due to being an ambassador for the Qataris at the World Cup.
Beckham also has a relationship with Messi due to their long association with Adidas.
And with the 2026 World Cup set to take place in North America, Messi’s arrival could certainly provide a boost to the sport in the country.
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