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MLS

The MLS dream of bringing in Lionel Messi next year may be at an end

The Argentina international has the option to become a free agent in the summer of 2023, but has now been linked with a return to FC Barcelona.

Update:
The Argentina international has the option to become a free agent in the summer of 2023 and he has been linked with a return to FC Barcelona.
ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULATGetty

Lionel Messi is enjoying his second year at Paris Saint-Germain and in twelve appearances he has scored seven goals and provided eight assists across all competitions so far this season. The 35-year-old will arrive in peak form for the upcoming World Cup and Argentina is one of the top contenders to win the tournament in Qatar.

Messi has been heavily linked with a move to Major League Soccer, with Inter Miami CF being his most likely destination, because he has the option to become a free agent in the summer of 2023 or extend his stay at Paris for one more campaign. The 35-year-old has expressed his desire in the past to play in MLS, but he will define his future at the end of the World Cup.

FC Barcelona on Messi’s radar

According to Argentine journalist Veronica Brunati however, Lionel Messi is set to return to his boyhood club FC Barcelona on 1 July 2023, a move that would end Inter Miami’s dream to bring the 35-year-old to MLS next summer.

The La Liga giants’ manager, Xavi Hernández, was asked about the return of Messi next season and he said the following:“With Leo, let’s see, but it’s not the moment to talk about it right now,” Xavi said in a press conference ahead of Barca’s Champions League game against Internazionale on Tuesday. “You know the love I have for him. He is a friend and I will always wish him the best. Barca is his home, but we’re not doing him any favors speaking about [his future], either. Let’s leave him in peace to enjoy his time in Paris and wish him all the best.”

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