Lionel Messi in talks with Inter Miami – and is expected to join next summer in monumental MLS coup

Lionel Messi of PSG during the Ligue 1 match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and ESTAC Troyes at Parc des Princes stadium on October 29, 2022 in Paris, France.
(Image credit: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

Lionel Messi is set to make a huge move to Major League Soccer when his contract at Paris Saint-Germain comes to an end. 

That's according to rumours and reports coming out today saying that the Flea is in talks with Inter Miami, one of the league's newest franchises. The club, who are owned by David Beckham, have already played host to Messi's countryman Gonzalo Higuain, who recently retired.

With Messi a free agent as of next summer, he now has a choice as to whether he will return to Barcelona, extend his stay in Paris or head to the United States.

Where will Lionel Messi play next?

Forward Lionel Messi #10 of Argentina runs with the ball during the international friendly match between Honduras and Argentina at Hard Rock Stadium on September 23, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Lionel Messi runs with the ball during the international friendly match between Honduras and Argentina at Hard Rock Stadium in September in Miami Gardens, Florida (Image credit: Eric Espada/Getty Images)

According to David Ornstein (opens in new tab) of the Athletic (opens in new tab), Major League Soccer expect Messi to to be at Inter Miami next season.

Messi's father and representative, Jorge, has been in discussions with the Florida-based outfit. Despite Barcelona interested in bringing their prodigal son back to the Camp Nou and PSG pushing to end his contract, Ornstein claims Miami is the "most advanced of those options".

"Discussions between the two parties have been going on for a couple of years and there is increasing confidence that the proposed transfer will materialise," he says, in what seems like the biggest indication yet that Messi will head stateside when his time in Paris is up. 

PSG forward Lionel Messi looks on during the UEFA Champions League match between PSG and Maccabi Haifa on 25 October, 2022 at the Parc des Princes, Paris, France

PSG forward Lionel Messi looks on during the Champions League match between PSG and Maccabi Haifa (Image credit: Sebastian Frej / MB Media / Getty Images)

Messi would undoubtedly be one of the biggest names that has ever moved to the league, alongside his prospective employer, Beckham, who moved to LA Galaxy at the height of his fame in the noughties.

No decision is expected to be made until after the World Cup but part of the lure of Messi will be for the Argentine to make an impact on football in the USA. The nation are co-hosting the World Cup in four years alongside Mexico and Canada, making any deal for the player potentially hugely lucrative for everyone involved.

Messi is able to sign a pre-contract agreement from January. 

David Beckham #23 of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks at the assistant referee during the MLS Western Conference Championship match against the Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Center on November 13, 2009 in Carson, California. The Galaxy defeated the Dynamo 2-0.

David Beckham changed MLS forever when he moved to Los Angeles in 2007 (Image credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Barcelona are said to also be fighting to re-sign Messi. According to Marca (opens in new tab) in Spain, Barça are planning to re-recruit their former talisman as soon as January, now that they are more financially secure. 

"He is putting in elite-level performances every week at the moment, so why would he leave mid-season?" Eurosport (opens in new tab) questions, though. "To make things worse, Barcelona didn’t even qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League. Messi could go on to win that trophy with PSG this season. Laporta’s plan seems a bit too ambitious."

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.