According to an ESPN story from late May, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has been working on an agreement that would have superstar Lionel Messi commit at least a couple of more seasons to the club before the 33-year-old would make an anticipated move to Major League Soccer at some point after the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Per Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald, Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said Wednesday that he and fellow co-owner David Beckham have "had serious talks" with Messi about joining the MLS side following the 2022-23 European campaign. Messi would, under a new agreement, feature for Inter Miami for two seasons before returning to Barcelona in a role not yet determined.
"David and I have been working really hard, we have aspirations of bringing the best players here and Leo Messi is a generational player, arguably the best player of all time," Mas explained. "I am optimistic Messi will play in an Inter Miami shirt because I think it will complete the legacy of the greatest player in our generation and will meet with the ambitions of the owners of Inter Miami to build a world class team."
As Chris Smith noted for The Guardian in 2018, Beckham's MLS player contract he signed before joining LA Galaxy included a clause that allowed him to purchase an expansion franchise at an inexpensive price ($25 million). It's unclear if Messi would receive a similar option, as Kaufman wrote he'd be set to earn roughly $73 million per season playing for Inter Miami. LAFC striker Carlos Vela is currently the league's highest-paid player at $6.3 million per year.