Lionel Messi agrees ‘in principle’ on next move after PSG exit | OneFootball

Icon: The Independent

The Independent

·7 June 2023

Lionel Messi agrees ‘in principle’ on next move after PSG exit

Article image:Lionel Messi agrees ‘in principle’ on next move after PSG exit

Leo Messi has agreed a deal in principle to join Inter Miami, in what could represent a first defeat for the burgeoning Saudi Pro League's new era.

The Argentine great had huge offers from both since the conclusion of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain, but it is understood he is being swayed by the prospect of a legacy in the United States, as well as his family's preference to live in the Florida city. Also of attraction were a prospective deal with Apple, who are huge broadcast backers of Major League Soccer.

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There is an argument that Messi could prove a transformative figure for the competition in the guise of Pele in the 1970s, although now where football is fast becoming the USA's fourth most popular sport, and ahead of the hosting of the 2026 World Cup. The Argentine's plan is currently to play in that and defend the trophy.

That hasn't totally locked out the possibility of eventually playing in the Saudi Pro League and there was still a certain nervousness in Inter Miami that no deal is done until it is signed.

The Messis have told those in Saudi Arabia that, even if they go with MLS now, they would be willing to return to negotiations in future. The 35-year-old has already faced criticism as regards "sportswashing" for being an ambassador for Saudi Tourism.

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