Lionel Messi will leave PSG in 2023 to join MLS side Inter Miami where he will also secure a 35 percent ownership stake, claims a source.
The Argentine icon, 34, saw his Barcelona career come to a teary end last year. The club’s financial woes meant a new Messi contract could not be ratified by LaLiga. His 22-year association with the Spanish giants then came to an end with PSG securing his services.
A two-year deal with a reported option for a third was agreed. Playing alongside the likes of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in a comparatively weaker league, Messi was expected to tear Ligue 1 up.
However, his time in Paris thus far has been an altogether disappointing one. In 25 Ligue 1 outings, Messi’s return stands at a paltry six goals and 13 assists.
While those figures might not sound disastrous, they are a far cry from those we are accustomed to seeing Messi churn out.
The Argentine was recently overlooked for the official Ligue 1 team of the year. That would’ve been unthinkable when his arrival at PSG was announced to great fanfare in 2021.
Now, according to Spanish outlet Marca, Messi’s time at PSG will conclude in 2023.
Their information stems from the reporting of DirecTV journalist Alex Candal. He stated Messi will reportedly move to America to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami in 2023 and will purchase 35 percent of the club’s ownership shares in the process.
Inter Miami co-owner touts move
A Messi move to Miami has been spoken about in the past, including by Inter’s co-owner and executive director, Jorge Mas.
Speaking to the Miami Herald in February, Mas said (via Marca): “Lionel Messi is still one of the best players in the world, his skills have not diminished.
“I believe, and David [Beckham] has a relationship with him, that if he leaves PSG, at the time he leaves PSG we would love to have Messi as a player at Inter Miami and be part of our community.
“Can it happen? We will push. I’m an optimist at heart – can I see it happening? It’s a possibility.”
Adding further fuel to the fire is a prior quote from Messi about dreaming of playing and living in America.
“I always had the dream of being able to enjoy and have the experience of living in the United States, experience what the league there is like, but not yet,” Messi said in 2020.
But fast forward two years, it now appears Messi’s dream may come true after one more season in Paris.
Too early for Lionel Messi to America?
The trend of aging superstars moving to MLS is not a new one. One look at Messi’s stats this season would suggest the time is coming for that familiar late-career switch to America.
However, it appears motivation has been as big of a hinderance to his efforts in Paris as any diminishing of talents might be.
Messi’s own fortunes have been mirrored by PSG’s this season. They regained the Ligue 1 title, though suffered yet another humbling in the Champions League when capitulating against Real Madrid in the Round of 16.
PSG also lost the Trophée des Champions (French equivalent of Community Shield), and were dumped out of the Coupe de France by Nice in the Last 16.
His five goals in seven in the Champions League highlight he can still operate at the highest level. And should a sensational return to Barcelona open up, that may be what he needs to reignite his fire.
When Barcelona president Joan Laporta was recently quizzed on if he’d want to bring Messi back to Spain, he replied: “Yes, of course I’d like it.”
As ever with Barcelona at present, however, finances will dictate their outlook in the market.