Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi's camp deny claims of Inter Miami deal

Jamie Spencer
Lionel Messi had been linked with a partial takeover of Inter Miami
Lionel Messi had been linked with a partial takeover of Inter Miami / John Berry/GettyImages

Lionel Messi’s family have firmly denied claims that he will purchase a 35% stake in MLS club Inter Miami, currently co-owned by David Beckham, and join the team next year.

Such rumours emerged on Spanish language show Futbol Total DirecTV this week.

But Le Parisien contacted Messi’s representatives and were told, “It is completely false.”

The French publication was also informed, however, that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s future at Paris Saint-Germain is not certain at this moment as no decision has been made.

“Leo has not yet decided on his future,” was the published response.

Messi has a contract with PSG until 2023 and it was reported in April that he had decided to remain with the club for the second year of the deal he signed on arrival in Paris last summer.

But only days later he and others were subjected to jeers and heckling was angry fans disappointed with the club’s failure to progress in the Champions League.

Even if it isn’t Inter Miami in 2023, Messi has been linked with a move to MLS at some point in his career for a while. The Florida club in particular are aiming high in the transfer market and David Beckham actually namedropped Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when spelling out his vision in 2021.

Gonzalo Higuain, Messi’s former international teammate and current Inter Miami player said earlier this year that he believes the 34-year-old superstar would be ‘happy’ in MLS.

Fellow Argentine and ex-San Jose Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda told 90min in 2020 that MLS would be a good choice for Messi because he could have a degree of off-field anonymity that hasn’t been possible in Europe for nearly 20 years.

“The U.S. is a big country,” Almeyda said at the time. “It has 350m inhabitants, I think. The stars here can walk in peace in the street. For [Messi], for his children, for his wife, he will be able to walk, to ride a bicycle, he will be able to go to the supermarket. He won't be under that fame that turns you into a slave, you know? That's why I think [USA] could be a good place for him.”

Even Messi himself has spoken fondly about moving to America before he retires.

“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,” he commented in a famous La Sexta interview.

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