Lionel Messi, one of the world’s biggest soccer stars, is set to make a move this summer as his contract with PSG comes to an end. The anticipation surrounding his next club is high, with reports suggesting options from Saudi Arabia, Europe, and the United States. Several Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs in the United States have been closely monitoring Messi for quite some time. A potential move to the MLS would not only boost the team’s prospects but also have implications for US sports betting and US online casinos. Will this summer present the best opportunity for an MLS club to secure the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner? Let’s explore the chances of Messi joining the MLS this season.
Why Is Messi Leaving PSG?
When Lionel Messi signed for PSG in the summer of 2021 on a free transfer from his boyhood club Barcelona, there was an expectation that the club would end their long wait for Champions League success. However, from that standpoint, the move has been a little bit of a disaster. PSG have been no closer to winning the Champions League since Messi’s arrival, and that has been a key factor in the Parisians looking to offload one of their biggest earners.
However, Messi’s future in Paris almost certainly came to an end after his decision to disobey team orders following a Ligue 1 loss to travel to Saudi Arabia for commercial reasons. Messi’s decision led to the Argentinean being suspended for two weeks, meaning that he missed two of the final three matches of the season. However, PSG’s weak stance on the superstar led to Messi returning to training before his suspension had officially come to an end.
Could A Move To The MLS Be On The Cards?
The MLS has been long-term admirers of the potential of bringing Messi to the American competition. It has been reported by MLS commissioner Don Garber that the league was open to making a David Beckham-like deal in order to bring the star to the competition. Beckham’s arrival in the MLS was one of the biggest signings in the history of the competition, and it immediately allowed the tournament to attract viewers from across the globe.
Beckham’s Inter Miami has long been considered the front-runner in any deal to sign Messi, and the latest reports have claimed that a deal involving the MLS side and Barcelona could be a likely scenario. It has been reported that Inter Miami could sign the superstar on a free transfer, before then loaning out the 35-year-old to Barcelona on a two-year deal.
That move would mean that while Messi would be signed to an MLS club, American fans wouldn’t get to see the Argentinean in action for Miami until at least 2025. A deal like this would certainly capture Messi’s attention, as he would likely prefer a move back to Barcelona with the aim of winning at least one more Champions League title with his boyhood club.
Is A Move To Saudi Arabia More Likely?
The dreams of MLS fans of seeing Messi in the competition do appear incredibly slim at this stage, as there are growing reports that a move to the Saudi Pro League is the most likely destination for the Argentinean. A deal to take Messi to Saudi Arabia is likely to make the World Cup winner the highest-paid player in the history of the sport, and reports have claimed that a switch to Al-Hilal is extremely close, and an official announcement could be made within days.
The decision to move to Saudi Arabia will see the competition attract yet another superstar in the world of soccer, with Cristiano Ronaldo already competing in the competition with Al-Nassr. Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema is also on the verge of a switch to Saudi Arabia after ending his 14-year career with Real Madrid. It is rumored that the five-time Champions League winner is set to sign an eye-watering deal with Al-Ittihad.
Messi’s future will be one of the biggest storylines to follow throughout the early days of the summer transfer window this year. But, at this stage, it looks incredibly unlikely that the Argentinean will be moving to the MLS. While a return to Barcelona is his preferred destination, it would appear as though Messi is set to accept Saudi Arabia’s offer and become the world’s most expensive player in the Middle East.