Lionel Messi to MLS has been rumored for a while now. The latest reports, though, indicate that the world’s biggest soccer star is closer than ever to a stateside move, and several of his former Barcelona teammates — like Sergio Busquets, Luis Suarez, and Cesc Fabregas — could be coming with him to Inter Miami, the MLS club owned by English legend David Beckham.
New report suggests David Beckham will bring Lionel Messi to MLS and Inter Miami soon
As Lionel Messi tries to add a World Cup trophy to his already-great resume, new rumors are emerging that the Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain star is on the verge of heading to the U.S. to play in MLS for owner David Beckham at Inter Miami.
Along with Messi, The Times also reports that Beckham will look to add several former Barcelona teammates of the Argentine superstar “who can complement Messi’s skills.”
The bombshell report names Cesc Fabregas (who played with Messi on Blaugrana from 2011-14) and Luis Suarez (who teamed with Messi upfront in Spain from 2014-20). Spanish football journalist Juanma Castaño (h/t Bleacher Report) is reporting separately that Barcelona midfielder (2005-22) Sergio Busquets will sign with Inter Miami next season.
If true, Inter Miami would likely become one of the oldest teams in MLS, adding Messi (35), Busquets (34), Suarez (35), and/or Fabregas (35).
However, what it would mean for MLS and Beckham’s Inter Miami franchise would be well worth the gamble. Messi is one of the two most recognizable footballers in the world (along with Cristiano Ronaldo), and Fabregas, Suarez, and Busquets are all legendary players who played major roles in Messi winning 10 La Liga titles, 14 domestic cups, and four Champions League trophies.
How Inter Miami would look with their new stars
Inter Miami started the 2022 MLS season 0-4-1 and looking like one of the worst teams in the league. However, the team rebounded and improved as the season went along, ending the year with a 14-14-6 record and earning a No. 7 seed in the MLS Eastern Conference playoffs.
Miami lost in the first round of the postseason, but after the horrendous start, the finish was impressive. The issue with the club is this season’s star players were 34-year-old striker Gonzalo Higuain and Wolves loanee Leandro Campana.
If David Beckham does successfully bring in Lionel Messi and any players like Cesc Fabregas, Luis Suarez, or Sergio Busquets, they will team with a solid group of teammates. Inter Miami’s 2023 roster will likely feature USMNT full-back Deandre Yedlin, solid role players Ariel Lassiter, Robert Taylor, and Jean Mota, and promising youngsters Bryce Duke and Harry Neville.
Beckham and company would have to get a little creative to fit all four players onto their books. MLS rules only allow three designated players (who a team can go over the salary cap for) per roster.
Messi, Fabregas, Suarez, and Busquets could all qualify for those slots. However, the team could also use GAM (general allocation money) to sign one or two of these players as well, like LAFC did with Wales striker Gareth Bale.