Inter Miami will "push" to sign Lionel Messi, according to the club's co-owner Jorge Mas, who has suggested that David Beckham's relationship with the Paris Saint-Germain star may help them finalise a deal.
Beckham founded Inter Miami alongside Jorge and his son Jose Mas in 2018, with the intention of creating a new MLS dynasty and bringing greater exposure to football in the United States.
Big signings were promised right from the off, and the likes of Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain have already bought into an ambitious project at the DRV PNK Stadium, but landing Messi remains the club's ultimate goal.
What's been said?
Messi joined PSG on a two-year contract with the option of an extra year after leaving Barcelona last summer.
The 34-year-old solidified a standing among the greatest players in history during his 17-year stay at Camp Nou, but has yet to truly find his feet at Parc des Princes, scoring just seven times in his first 23 appearances.
It has been reported that Messi could look for an early escape route in the next transfer window, with Inter Miami mooted as a possible destination for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner.
Asked if there is any truth to the rumours, Mas told the Miami Herald: “Leo Messi is still one of the best players in the world, his skills have not diminished. 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.”
Beckham was also pressed on whether he could see Messi playing in Inter Miami's striking pink jersey in the near future, to which he responded: “I’ve always said I want the best players in our club and playing in our shirt because there’s a certain expectation. Unfortunately, sometimes it can be a bad thing. But most of the time it’s a good thing.
"When I first started this project, people were saying 'This guy is coming, that guy is coming, [Cristiano] Ronaldo is coming, Messi’s coming.’ At the end of the day, we need to win, whether it’s with the young kids or stars.
"Our fans will be happy if we have stars on the team, but they’ll be even happier if they’re seeing young players coming through our academy and lifting the MLS Cup.”
Would Messi be interested in an MLS switch?
Messi's links to MLS first began cropping up in the summer of 2020, after he shocked the world by handing in a transfer request at Barca.
The Argentina international ended up staying at Camp Nou for one more year, but admitted that playing in the United States one day does hold an appeal to him midway through the 2020-21 campaign.
"I always said that I have the impression that I would like to enjoy the experience of living in the United States, of living in that league and that life, but if it happens or not I don't know," said Messi.
MLS could well be an option for the diminutive forward before he retires, but he looks set to continue at PSG for now, with the French giants due back in Ligue 1 action away at Nice on March 5.