With Lionel Messi yet to commit his future to Paris Saint-Germain, rumours about his future continue to do the rounds.
The 35-year-old’s current contract expires in the summer and Barcelona have been linked with a possible reunion with the former captain. But such a move looks practically impossible at this point due to the club’s financial issues.
MLS clubs have shown a keen interest in Messi as well and even though reports suggest that the Argentina captain wishes to continue in Europe for one more year, the American clubs are not willing to go down without a fight.
Indeed, according to Mundo Deportivo, Inter Miami remain firm in their interest to sign Messi, with co-owner Jorge Mas hoping to convince the 35-year-old to be the image of the club in the mid-term.
The MLS also has financial restrictions when it comes to salaries for players. But, each club can have three franchise players for whom the wages can exceed the limit set by the league.
Furthermore, the MLS is keen to have Messi arrive in the league before the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which they will be co-hosting as they hope it will boost their global profile.
MLS commissioner Don Garber, in an interview earlier this month, iterated the same and also stated that the league would have to be creative ‘financially’ to bring in Messi.
“If we want to convince Messi and his family, we will have to be financially flexible and creative,” he had said.
To that end, MLS might consider approaching the seven-time Ballon d’Or with the same tactic that they had signed David Beckham.
The former Manchester United legend went to play in the USA on a salary of €30 million for five seasons, but he was given the chance to create his own franchise for just a sum of €25 million, which is how Inter Miami came into existence, and it is now estimated to be worth around €600 million.
“The idea is that Messi has the same possibility,” says Jerome Meary, an agent with experience in the American market.
Messi has always desired to get a taste of American football in the final stretch of his career. However, as things stand, his priority is to remain in Europe for one more year. Whether that changes in the coming weeks remains to be seen.