Lionel Messi is destined to end up in MLS, claims former United States international Tim Howard, with a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner being tipped to generate a similar level of “fanfare” in America as Brazil legend Pele.
An Argentine icon remains tied to a contract at Paris Saint-Germain through to the summer of 2023, but speculation is building regarding future intentions beyond that point.
There has been plenty of talk regarding a possible move to Inter Miami for Messi, where he would link up with Manchester United and England legend David Beckham, with Howard confident that an agreement will be put in place at some stage.
Will Messi move to MLS?
Ex-United and USMNT goalkeeper Howard told The Pat McAfee Show of the buzz surrounding Messi potentially heading to the States: “The MLS has grown leaps and bounds and it is very much a top league.
“What I would say is that we've seen a lot of international superstars come to America. He's [Lionel Messi] going to come. Honestly, I tell you this, it will be like nothing we've ever seen.
“This guy, I swear to you, he's a god. I've witnessed it, I've played against him.
“The fanfare that's going to surround, if he goes to Miami, it will be like since Pele. Honestly, it's crazy if it happens."
Howard added: “He's the greatest - him and [Cristiano] Ronaldo for me are the greatest players of all time. It's [the ball] on a string, you can't get it away from him.”
Could Messi end up at Inter Miami?
There has been talk of Messi acquiring a stake in a club co-owned by Beckham before completing a move next summer.
A door has been left open for him in Florida, with Jorge Mas – Beckham’s right-hand man – saying in February of links to an all-time great: “I think, and David has a relationship with him, if he does leave PSG at the time he leaves it, we’d love to see Lionel Messi be a player at Inter Miami and be part of our community.
“Can it happen? Look, we’ll push. I’m an optimist at heart. Could I see that happening? It’s a possibility.”
Messi has work to do in Europe before considering any return to the Americas, with the 34-year-old registering just 11 goals in all competitions during his first year at PSG – although he did add to his trophy collection by helping them to Ligue 1 title glory.