‘It takes time… we’ve got interesting moves to make’: Inter Miami REFUSE to give up on signing Lionel Messi from PSG as coach Phil Neville says ‘the landscape has not changed’ after he led Argentina to World Cup glory
- Inter Miami have an interest in brining Lionel Messi to Major League Soccer
- But after his World Cup glory, Messi is said to be leaning to staying at PSG
- But Miami coach Phil Neville was bullish about the chances of signing Messi
- Miami’s captain, Gregore, also talked up the potential move to bring Messi in
Miami and Messi looked close to a deal last year – as Sportsmail reported on November 27 – but the Argentina hero is now thought to prefer to extend his time in Paris after starring at the World Cup in Qatar. His current deal with French heavyweight Paris Saint-Germain expires at the end of the European club season.
Speaking Monday as his team returned to preseason training, coach Neville was inevitably asked on if a move for Messi could really materialize.
‘We want to bring the best players in the world to this club and he is probably the best player, so for us the landscape has not changed at all,’ Neville said.
Inter Miami are not giving up hope that they could sensationally sign Lionel Messi
Miami coach Phill Neville said Inter ‘want to bring the best players in the world to this club’
‘With any deal for any DP (Designated Player) of that level, it’s complicated. It takes time.’
Neville faced the media alongside Miami captain Gregore, who also did little to downplay any interest in Messi.
‘Why not? I believe it could happen,’ he said. ‘Players around the world view MLS as a great league.
‘If Messi comes, I would be happy because I like to play with the best and learn from them.’
Messi, 35, is on a salary of around $1.45million a week in France and would need to take a pay cut to join the David Beckham-owned team.
He would still expect to be the best paid soccer player in America, and the move would be a significant chance for Messi to further build his brand.
Miami head into the 2023 season needing a new striker after Gonzalo Higuain retired at the end of the 2022 campaign.
It appears a deal could be near for Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez – Neville spoke highly of the 29-year-old.
Messi is back training with Paris Saint-Germain after Argentina’s World Cup glory in December
Messi’s current contract expires in the summer but he now could stay another year in France
‘I like him. He’s always scored goals against us,’ Neville said. ‘There are certain players that make a real impression from the pitch level, and Josef is one.
‘He’s a machine, hungry, scores goals and doesn’t need many chances. We’ve got some interesting moves to make but I love the squad we have right now.’
Miami, which made the playoffs last year, starts its season on February 25 against Montreal.
Messi, meanwhile, is back training with PSG after Argentina’s World Cup triumph.