Lionel Messi to MLS? Commissioner Don Garber says 'outside the box' approach required to make Inter Miami transfer happen
- 'Beckham-like' deal required
- Messi free agent this summer
- Linked with Inter Miami
WHAT HAPPENED? Messi has been linked with a blockbuster move to MLS, and in an interview with The Athletic, Garber said the league were open to exploring possibilities of structuring a financial package that would allow Inter Miami to sign the Argentine superstar. MLS' strict salary cap rules mean that any deal would require some inventive thinking akin to the ground-breaking deal that brought David Beckham to LA Galaxy in 2007.
WHAT THEY SAID: Garber told The Athletic: "You’re dealing with perhaps the most special player in the history of the game. So when there are rumours of him connected to Miami, that’s great. And if it could happen, it would be terrific for MLS, it would be terrific for Messi and his family, and like everything with us, we try to run every opportunity down. If we have the opportunity to do that, it’s going to be outside the box.
"We’re gonna have to structure a deal that’s going to compensate him in ways that he and his family expect. What that is? Honestly, we don’t know today, but he’s probably not going to be a (targeted allocation money) player.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi, whose Paris Saint-Germain contract expires this summer, is still performing at an astoundingly high level and was recently voted the world's best player once again. If he decides to leave the French capital there's sure to be be plenty of interest, but his huge wages pose a challenge for any club looking to land him and comply with financial fair play regulations.
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DID YOU KNOW? The deal that brought Beckham to LA Galaxy included a clause that enabled him to buy a new MLS franchise for $25 million (£21m) - a figure which proved to be a bargain when the former Manchester United man created Inter Miami, now valued at more than $600m (£499m).
WHAT NEXT FOR LIONEL MESSI? The great man will have more immediate concerns on his mind as he attempts to extend his club's lead at the top of Ligue 1 on Saturday before travelling to Bayern Muich on Wednesday seeking reverse a first-leg deficit in the Champions League last 16.