Lionel Messi will snub a lucrative contract in Saudi Arabia and move to the Major League Soccer side Inter Miami in the US as a free agent after parting ways with the French champions Paris St Germain, the BBC reported on Wednesday.
Messi, who played his final game for PSG over the weekend, was also linked with a return to Barcelona but the Spanish club have had their hands tied due to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
Should the deal with Miami go through, the 35-year-old Argentine will play outside Europe for the first time since he joined Barca’s academy at the age of 13 and became the Spanish club’s all-time record goal scorer with 672 goals.
Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in Qatar in December and has earned a record seven Ballon d’Or awards, won the Ligue 1 title in his two seasons with PSG as well as the French Super Cup in 2022.
The forward was also linked with a move to the Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal after he received a formal offer.
The Gulf country has been looking to bring the game’s biggest players to its league and was successful in convincing Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo to join Al Nassr soon after the World Cup. The French striker Karim Benzema joined Al Ittihad this week.
Inter Miami are co-owned by former England captain David Beckham, who was one of the first major European stars to move to the United States to play in the MLS, winning the MLS Cup twice with Los Angeles Galaxy.