Chris Henderson refuses to say if MLS side Inter Miami want to sign Lionel Messi
It has been confirmed that the Argentine will leave the French club when the season ends: could he go to MLS?
It is no surprise that Inter Miami would love to have Lionel Messi in their ranks when the superstar leaves PSG at the end of the European season. The club, however is going through a period of change and perhaps even uncertainty as Phil Neville was sacked by David Beckham after a run of poor results.
Inter Miami are, therefore, on the search for a new head coach, and the name of Tata Martino has come up as a potential option for the side. “MLS is my weakness”, the Argentine was quoted as saying just months ago, leaving the door wide open for a potential stint in the states.
All of this together in the melting pot, as well as the will-he-won’t-he surrounding Messi to FC Barcelona/Saudi Arabia/insert-name-here, means that certain questions have definitely been asked, all with a wink and a nudge and a hopeful intake of breath. And the latest person to have a microphone put under his chin was Inter Miami’s very own sporting director, Chris Henderson.
Inter Miami director doesn’t deny that the club want Messi
Naturally, the question came to Henderson on the topic of Messi, and Inter Miami’s pursuit of the player to bring about a potential move to MLS. In football, saying ‘no’, unless things change dramatically and at speed, normally having been influenced by outside forces, is simply a ‘no’. Saying anything other than that, however, is by definition, keeping the door open: and that’s exactly what Henderson did.
If a football player is leaving a club but is yet to announce the decision, the standard “we shall see what happens in summer” makes an appearance, and Henderson has done the sporting director’s equivalent. When asked about the potential arrival of Lionel Messi to Inter Miami after he leaves PSG (along with Sergio Ramos), he said “I’m not getting into specifics of players who are not on our roster.” Definitely not a no.
Now, before I am charged with the heinous crime of clickbait, I’d like to make clear that this is just speculation on my part, and that I am merely pointing out the Inter Miami sporting director did not say ‘no’ when asked about the club’s desire to sign Lionel Messi. In other words, I am simply evoking the so you’re telling me there’s a chance? GIF.
But there’s more...
Tata Martino could be key to the deal
Look deeper and you’ll see that there is in fact more to stir inside the pot, as French newspaper L’Équipe, along with other outlets across Europe, reported that FC Barcelona and Inter Miami have even entered into discussions over a possible buy-and-loan deal for the player, which would see the MLS side sign Messi this summer before sending him on loan to Barcelona for 18 months ahead of the 2026 World Cup on American soil. Bon courage...
“I was part of an extraordinary project with Atlanta United that had a clear direction, a lot of communication and similar objectives that were established very quickly and executed. After coaching in MLS, I became attracted to it. I like the league. The possibility of returning to MLS is always there”, said Tata Martino, the Newell’s Old Boys native. Will he bring their greatest ever player with him if he does end up in Miami?