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Barcelona

Lionel Messi transfer race hots up with ‘just two clubs left in running’ to land Argentina legend after PSG exit


INTER MIAMI are reportedly preparing to hijack Barcelona’s attempt to sign Lionel Messi this summer.

Messi, 35, is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires at the end of June.

Inter Miami and Barcelona want to sign Messi

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Inter Miami and Barcelona want to sign MessiCredit: The Mega Agency

Barcelona have already expressed an interest in signing him, but the club’s current financial state could prove to be a stumbling block.

The La Liga giants would have to sell several first-team players in order to fund the transfer, otherwise the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner – who is said to be eager to return to his former club – will be forced to look elsewhere.

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And according to The Athletic, David Beckham’s Inter Miami is another potential destination.

The Florida-based side are currently working with Major League Soccer to solidify details surrounding the potential signing of Messi.

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An anonymous source claims MLS executives have already been informed that the Argentina captain will choose either Barcelona or Inter Miami as his next club – he does not want to join Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema in Saudi Arabia.

Adidas, Apple and MLS are all hoping to entice Messi to the United States this summer.

Adidas – one of the league’s largest corporate sponsors – have reportedly proposed a profit-sharing agreement, meaning the forward would receive a cut of any increase in profits resulting from his MLS involvement.

MLS and Apple have also discussed offering Messi a share of the revenue generated by new subscribers to the MLS Season Pass, the league’s streaming package on Apple TV+.

Beckham's Inter Miami have offered the forward a lucrative deal

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Beckham’s Inter Miami have offered the forward a lucrative dealCredit: AP

In addition to these commercial proposals, MLS chiefs are understood to be willing to offer Messi the option to purchase a percentage of a team in the league upon his retirement.

However, the forward is keen on the prospect of a fairytale return to Barcelona.

Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, held talks with Barcelona president Joan Laporta on Monday morning to discuss the possibility of a free transfer.

After the meeting, the 65-year-old admitted that his son is eager to return to the Nou Camp.

He said: “Messi wants to return to Barca and I would love for him to come back. It is an option.”

Messi joined Barcelona’s world renowned La Maisa academy at the age of 13 in 2000.

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After progressing through the ranks, he signed his first professional contract five years later and became a regular name in the first team.

He went on to make 778 appearances for the La Liga giants, scoring 672 goals and assisting 303 in the process.

The Argentina international was forced to leave Barcelona in 2021 due to the club’s financial state, so he joined PSG in a £25million transfer.





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