Inter Miami 'optimistic' Lionel Messi will join them in MLS
Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) chases after the ball with France player Antoine Griezmann in the round of 16 during the FIFA World Cup 2018. Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Inter Miami 'optimistic' Lionel Messi will join them in MLS

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. 

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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