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Lionel Messi expected to join Inter Miami when PSG contract expires in 2023

Rory O'Callaghan

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Lionel Messi expected to join Inter Miami when PSG contract expires in 2023

Lionel Messi is reportedly set to join MLS side Inter Miami when his contract expires with Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

Messi, 35, left Barcelona in 2020 to sign a two-year deal at the Parc des Princes.

After a difficult debut season in French football, in which he managed only six Ligue 1 goals, Messi has rediscovered his form and now looks back to his brilliant best.

He has managed 12 goals and 13 assists in 17 appearances for PSG this season in all competitions.

With the Argentina international now into the final year of his deal with PSG, speculation continues to grow over whether he will choose to extend his stay in Paris, return to Barcelona or move elsewhere.

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It appears that the third option is most likely, with Inter Miami reportedly in pole position to sign the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.

The Athletic claim that the MLS franchise, who are co-owned by David Beckham and managed by Phil Neville, are increasingly confident of signing Messi after holding discussions with the Argentine star over several years.

"Jorge and Jose Mas — the brothers who co-own Inter Miami alongside Beckham — are leading the negotiations and numerous meetings have taken place with the star's father, Jorge," reported The Athletic's David Ornstein.

Messi and his representatives are not expected to hold any more contract negotiations until after the upcoming World Cup in Qatar, which runs from November 20 to December 18.

Messi is out of contract with PSG at the end of the season (Image: Alamy)
Messi is out of contract with PSG at the end of the season (Image: Alamy)

From January, Messi will be into the final six months of his current deal with PSG and would be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club, such as Inter Miami.

Should Inter pull off a shock transfer for Messi, it would surely be the highest-profile signing in MLS history – trumping Beckham's own move to the United States with LA Galaxy in 2007.

Miami is said to be a "source of attraction for Messi's family" who already own a property in the city.

Meanwhile, Miami also has strong community links with South America, another possible attraction for the PSG star.

Another appealing factor for all parties, is Messi's potential impact on football in the United States in the build-up to the 2026 World Cup.

The tournament will be jointly hosted by the United States, along with its neighbours Canada and Mexico.

Messi could be playing under Phil Neville next season (Image: Alamy)
Messi could be playing under Phil Neville next season (Image: Alamy)

Inter - who were only founded in 2018 - are are set to become a major force in the MLS in the coming years.

Neville has surpassed expectations by guiding the team to the play-offs this season, while there is said to have been "structural progress behind the scenes".

Miami have now been granted permission to begin construction on a new $1billion (£860m) stadium - Miami Freedom Park.

While nothing has been agreed with Messi, it is claimed that there is increasing confidence that the proposed transfer to Inter will materialise.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Lionel Messi, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Miami, Football, Ligue 1, MLS, Transfers

Rory O'Callaghan
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