- Messi choosing between Barca or Miami
- MLS lining up Apple and adidas deals
- Could be offered to buy stakes in club
WHAT HAPPENED? That's according to latest information from The Athletic, which notes that both league and club are "solidifying details" regarding the Argentine's sensational summer signing. In a dramatic turn of events, it is now thought that Al-Hilal's lucrative offer is not under consideration, after GOAL revealed that Messi's entourage had asked the Saudi outfit to delay the move until 2024. Barcelona and Miami now appear to lead the way, and MLS are reportedly aiming to use their two biggest commercial partners to come out on top.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Apple signed a ten-year agreement with the league this spring as its main streaming platform, and a deal has reportedly been discussed that would offer Messi a share of the revenue from Apple TV+'s MLS Season Pass. A four-part documentary on Messi's five World Cup appearances was also announced on Tuesday. Aside from Apple, adidas have been partnered with MLS since 1996, and have held a relationship with the player since 2006. They are reportedly willing to offer the Argentine a share of their profits, as well as a cut in any increase in profits from his involvement in the league.
AND WHAT'S MORE: Beyond the league's two corporate giants, Messi's deal with Miami would likely include the option to purchase a percentage of an MLS team after his time in the U.S. has drawn to a close. The deal would be similar to that offered to David Beckham in 2007, who was pictured alongside Messi at PSG's training ground in late April. Another factor would be the imminent arrival to Miami of former Mexico boss Tata Martino, who has a good working relationship with the 35-year-old from their spells together at Argentina and Barcelona.
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IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? After leaving PSG as a free agent at the end of the month, the Argentine's return to Barcelona could still be halted by the club's precarious financial position. A move to MLS certainly seems plausible, then, with The Athletic even citing July 21 as Messi's potential debut for Miami, coming against Mexican side Cruz Azul.