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Lionel Messi 'agrees to sign for Inter Miami'

Lionel Messi 'agrees to sign for Inter Miami'
© Reuters
Lionel Messi reportedly agrees to sign for MLS side Inter Miami, rejecting the opportunity to return to Barcelona or move to a Saudi Arabian club.

Inter Miami have reportedly won the race to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi on a free transfer.

For a number of weeks, it has been known that the Argentine superstar would end his two-year stay at Parc des Princes to take on a fresh challenge.

Barcelona or a switch to Saudi Arabia have seemingly been the 35-year-old's two most likely options, the former having held discussions with his father earlier this week.

While a transfer back to Camp Nou was dependent on the Catalan giants resolving their financial issues, moving to Saudi Arabia would have involved no such problems.

Al-Hilal had been linked with Messi before Karim Benzema joined Al-Ittihad and N'Golo Kante and Wilfried Zaha were also associated with lucrative transfers to the Middle East.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta during the press conference on April 17, 2023© Reuters

However, rather than become the latest big name to move to Saudi Arabia, Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has claimed on Twitter that Messi is moving to MLS.

Although Inter Miami have rarely been viewed as first choice to sign the attacker, it has been no secret that Messi likes the city and already possesses property in the area.

Sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference having suffered five successive defeats appeared to have done the franchise no favours ahead of attempting to negotiate a deal.

Nevertheless, Balague says that Messi will link up with the Florida-based outfit once his PSG contract expires at the end of June.

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring for Paris Saint-Germain on May 27, 2023© Reuters

Inter Miami currently sit six points adrift of a Final Series Playoff place with a game in hand, theoretically leaving them in contention to extend their season later in the year.

With Phil Neville having recently been removed from his role as head coach, Javier Morales is currently acting as the interim boss, but it is plausible that a more high-profile name could be appointed in due course.

Messi will leave PSG having contributed 32 goals and 35 assists from his 75 appearances in all competitions, helping the French giants win two Ligue 1 titles.

If and when a transfer to Miami is confirmed, Messi will ply his trade outside of Europe for the first time in his professional career.

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