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Lionel Messi is heading to MLS! Argentina star decides to join Inter Miami as Barcelona fail to seal homecoming transfer

Lionel Messi PSG 2022-23Getty Images
  • Messi chooses Inter Miami
  • Signing for MLS club as a free agent
  • Barca unable to re-sign club legend

WHAT HAPPENED? Messi will become a free agent when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain officially expires on June 30, with the club having confirmed his departure before their final game of the Ligue 1 season. Speculation over the 35-year-old's next move has intensified since then, with Barcelona publicly stepping up their attempts to bring him back to Camp Nou. Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal have also been pushing hard to sign Messi in recent months, but Guillem Balague has now revealed that he will be embarking on the next stage of his career in America.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Inter Miami have won the race to sign Messi with the help of commercial partners Apple and adidas. The Athletic have reported that the World Cup winner is set to a share of revenue from Apple TV+'s MLS Season Pass, while adidas have offered him a profit-sharing agreement to strengthen their long-term relationship.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Messi's father admitted earlier this week that his son favoured a return to Barcelona, but their precarious financial situation ultimately made a final deal impossible. Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have all left the club since the turn of the year, but Barca still need to reduce their wage bill significantly before they will be able able to register any new players. Al-Hilal, meanwhile, will have to wait until at least 2024 before reigniting their interest in Messi, with GOAL having revealed that the forward asked to delay a potential move to the Middle East while assessing his options after leaving PSG.

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Lionel Messi Inter Miami PSGGetty/GOAL

Lionel MessiGetty Images


WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? It has been reported that the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner could make his debut for Inter Miami as early as July 21, with a Leagues Cup clash against Mexican side Cruz Azul on the cards. Javier Morales is currently leading the squad on an interim basis, but one of Messi's former managers with Barca and Argentina, Tata Martino, is currently the frontrunner to succeed Phil Neville - who was sacked as head coach at the start of the month.