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

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

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

After a difficult first season in French football, in which he scored just six Ligue 1 goals, Messi has found his form and is now back to his best.

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

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

It looks like the third option is the most likely with Inter Miami reportedly in pole position to sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner.

Athletic say the MLS franchise, which is co-owned by David Beckham and managed by Phil Neville, is increasingly confident of signing Messi after holding talks with the Argentine star for several years.

“Jorge and Jose Mas – the brothers who co-own Inter Miami alongside Beckham – are leading the negotiations and there have been numerous meetings with the star’s father, Jorge,” reported David Ornstein of The Athletic.

Messi and his representatives are not expected to hold any more contract talks until the next 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)

From January, Messi will enter the last six months of his current contract with PSG and could sign a pre-contract with a foreign club, such as Inter Miami.

Should Inter pull off a shock move for Messi, it would surely be the most high-profile signing in MLS history – surpassing 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 property in the city.

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

Another attractive 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 hosted jointly by the United States, with its neighbors Canada and Mexico.

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

Inter – which were only founded in 2018 – are set to become a major force in MLS in the years to come.

Neville has exceeded expectations in guiding the team to the play-offs this season, when there would have been “structural progress behind the scenes”.

Miami has now been granted permission to begin construction of a new billion dollar (£860m) stadium – Miami Freedom Park.

Although nothing has been agreed with Messi, it is claimed that there is growing confidence that the proposed move to Inter will go through.

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