Inter Miami director Chris Henderson can appreciate why talk of Lionel Messi moving to MLS is generating interest, but he is reluctant to fuel gossip.
- Argentine icon in final year of PSG contract
- Return to Barcelona has been speculated on
- Has also been linked with move to America
WHAT HAPPENED? The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner is once again seeing questions asked of his future as the final year of his current contract at Paris Saint-Germain runs down. There has been talk of an emotional return to Barcelona being made by the Argentine icon, but plenty of rumours suggest that he could be tempted to take on a completely new challenge by linking up with the franchise that Manchester United and England legend David Beckham co-owns in America.
WHAT THEY SAID: Henderson has told reporters when asked about the speculation linking an all-time great with a switch to Florida: “I knew Messi would come up! It’s great to be connected with amazing players and our club connected with. I don’t want to comment on someone who’s not on our roster and speculation and rumours, but he’s one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
“Messi on any team in the world is going to change that team. I don’t want to speculate and talk about him on our team, but he changes every league and every team that he plays for. It comes down to what is the character of the player? What is his motivation to come to the league? The balance between older players in this league and younger players, it comes down to that motivation, the fitness level of the player, why he’s coming and then being able to integrate him into what you’re doing as a club and where you going.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi is now 35 years of age, but he has been at his destructive best for PSG in 2022-23 – with 12 goals and 14 assists recorded through 18 appearances in all competitions.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT FOR MESSI? PSG are understandably reluctant to part with a player that is a sporting and marketing dream, meaning that fresh terms have been mooted for Messi at Parc des Princes, but a definitive decision on his future is not expected to be made until another quest for World Cup glory with Argentina in Qatar comes to a close.