As rumours of Lionel Messi’s potential move to Inter Miami circulate, the appointment of fellow Argentine Javier Morales as interim head coach adds an interesting dimension to the situation.
Morales joins a growing contingent of Argentinians involved with the club, including goalkeeping coach Sebastian Saja, Federico Higuain (head coach of Inter’s reserve team), and assistant coach Cristian Raul Ledesma. While it may be coincidental, the timing of Morales’ appointment aligns with reports of Miami’s interest in Messi, who will be out of contract with Paris St Germain soon. The club and Major League Soccer have not distanced themselves from these rumours, leaving room for speculation about Messi’s potential move to the South Florida team.
Securing Messi’s services would require a significant investment, but Miami hopes that the opportunity to end his career with a lucrative deal in a Spanish-speaking community would be enticing. However, Morales faces a daunting task of turning around Miami’s struggling season. Under former coach Phil Neville, the team suffered four consecutive defeats, leaving them at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and in 27th place out of 29 teams in the league.
Amidst the Messi rumours, other noteworthy matches are set to take place in Major League Soccer. D.C. United, led by ex-Manchester United star Wayne Rooney, will face Miami, while a derby between Western Conference leaders Seattle and the Portland Timbers is also scheduled. Additionally, FC Cincinnati, currently leading the Eastern Conference by eight points, will host the Chicago Fire.
Regarding Messi’s future, there are three likely destinations being discussed. Despite Barcelona’s desire to bring him back, the financial complications and economic challenges facing the club may hinder a reunion. Inter Miami, with their attractive package of part-ownership and sponsorship deals, could entice Messi to make the move to the MLS. Alternatively, Al-Hilal, a Saudi Arabian club, has reportedly offered Messi a lucrative two-year deal worth over €1 billion, but the potential risk to his legacy may influence his decision.
As Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Gaultier confirmed that Messi will not return for the 2023-24 season, speculation about his next move has intensified, with Barcelona, Inter Miami, and Al-Hilal emerging as the top contenders.