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Inter Miami working on ‘plan B’ for Messi should they fail to make playoffs

The Herons are in 13th spot in the Eastern Conference with two wild card playoff places available.

¿Jugará Messi con Inter Miami este sábado ante New York City FC?

Inter Miami have now played a total of more than 330 minutes without Leo Messi on the pitch, which roughly equates to more than three and a half games. Discomfort in the hamstring muscle as a result of fatigue and a heavy fixture load has meant that the Florida side are missing their star player at a key moment in the season.

According to reports, Messi will be absent for the match against Chicago Fire on Wednesday but could reappear on the weekend game against Cincinnati. Depending on the outcome of the midweek round of MLS fixtures, Messi would return to an Inter Miami team with no mathematical chance of securing a wild card spot that would keep the season alive with the Herons currently having just four regular season games remaining (Chicago, Cincinnati and two games against Charlotte).

Lesión de Messi con Inter Miami: ¿Jugará el domingo ante Orlando City?
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Lionel Messi #10 of Inter Miami looks on during a match between Toronto FC and Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK StadiumCARMEN MANDATOAFP

If that were to happen, the club would be forced to have a rethink about player usage as thoughts would turn quickly to planning for the 2024 MLS season.

The new Inter Miami

Despite having reached two finals in the few months that the new Inter Miami project has been underway, the team and performances in MLS leave much room for improvement.

 Benjamin Cremaschi #30 of Inter Miami CF
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Benjamin Cremaschi #30 of Inter Miami CFMEGAN BRIGGSAFP

The first order of the day for the club will be a rebuilding and strengthening of the squad with players such as Luis Suárez and Luka Modric already being linked with a move to the South Florida side.

Luka Modric (Real Madrid) 38 años
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The 2024 season will also afford the club to plan and prepare with the backbone of the squad already in place following an active summer transfer campaign when Messi, Alba and Busquets joined the Herons along with young and promising talents such as Facundo Farias and Tomas Aviles. Tata Martino will also have time to prepare and plan and work on how to better manage the playing time of the elder stars in the team minutes in tandem with younger players in a season that will see the club playing not only in MLS, but in the Leagues Cup and 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup.