Inter Miami are “increasingly confident” they will sign Lionel Messi after the World Cup, according to reports.
The Argentine, 35, has entered the final year of his deal with Paris Saint-Germain, The Sun reported.
And while the Ligue 1 outfit are keen to keep hold of him, The Athletic are now reporting that David Beckham’s MLS outfit expect a deal for the Barcelona legend to be completed in the coming months.
Talks are set to resume after Messi returns from Qatar, with Inter Miami best-placed to secure the transfer ahead of a new PSG contract or a return to Barcelona.
Jorge and Jose Mas – the brothers who co-own the MLS club alongside Beckham – are leading the negotiations. And they are said to have had a number of meetings with Messi’s father, Jorge.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is believed to have been in talks with Inter Miami for a couple of years.
He already owns a property in the American city, with a move to the US thought to be an attractive option for him and his family. A return to Barcelona has been muted despite Messi thriving at PSG so far this season, contributing 12 goals and 13 assists in 17 matches.
And his performances have also made the French champions want to keep hold of him any way they can.
But Inter Miami are the frontrunners in what would be an astonishing coup for the American game ahead of their shared-hosting of the 2026 World Cup along with Canada and Mexico.
Messi could even sign a precontract agreement with the as Inter Miami early as January.
Coached by former Manchester United and Everton defender Phil Neville, Miami finished sixth out of 14 Eastern Conference teams in the 2022 MLS campaign.
This saw them qualify for the play-offs, before they were beaten 3-0 by New York City FC in the first round.
Off the pitch, Beckham’s franchise was recently granted permission to start building Miami Freedom Park – a $US1 billion stadium. And Messi would not be the first big name to join Inter Miami.
His fellow countryman Gonzalo Higuain announced his retirement from football earlier this month after two years with the newly-founded MLS club.