Lionel Messi will reportedly acquire a 35% share of Inter Miami after reportedly agreeing a four-year deal with the MLS club – although dad and agent Jorge has denied it.
DirecTV reports, via Marca, that the 34-year-old has agreed to join the club once his deal with Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of next season. He is also understood to be set to receive a 35% stake in the club as a result of the deal, with Inter Miami having been valued at between £481million and £521million last August, according to Sportico.
That valuation would mean that Messi’s shares would currently be worth between £168million and £182million, 12 months before he joins the club.
The Argentine forward only headed to PSG last summer, arriving on a free transfer from Barcelona and signing a two-year deal which keeps him in the French capital until the summer of 2023.
Despite winning the league title in his first season in France, Messi has struggled in his new surroundings, scoring just six goals in his 25 league appearances.
Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas hinted at signing Messi earlier in the season, telling the Miami Herald in February:
Leo 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.
The club, which are managed by Phil Neville, are also co-owned by David Beckham and began life in the MLS in 2020, two years after their formation.
Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, has since shut down the rumours linking his son with a move to the USA, with TMZ Sports quoting him as saying:
Leo has not yet decided on his future.
And if Leo Messi has crossed paths with David Beckham in the last few hours, it is only as part of PSG’s stay in Doha where the former English midfielder plays a role as an ambassador for the next World Cup in Qatar.
Several PSG players, including Messi, were pictured alongside Beckham in Qatar this week as part of the club’s mid-season tour to Doha ahead of their final match of the season on Saturday.