Lionel Messi is expected to stay in European football at least until 2024, despite reports he is close to agreeing a deal to join MLS club Inter Miami next year.
Sky Sports News has been told that Messi is not close a new agreement with any club – including his current team Paris Saint-Germain, who want to keep him beyond his current deal which expires in 2023.
However, remaining at PSG is Messi’s first option and the French club are understood to have approached him about entering negotiations over an extension.
Messi is concentrating on the World Cup with Argentina so will not to consider his future options formally until January, when he can also speak to other top clubs outside France.
The 35-year-old believes he still has more years left in him at the top European level, having settled and impressed further in his second season at PSG.
And Barcelona chief Joan Laporta has made no secret of his desire to bring Messi back to the Nou Camp, if they can afford him, stating earlier this month: “Leo knows that Barcelona is always his home.”
The MLS is an interesting option for Messi in the future, having spoken openly about wanting to play there in the past, but Sky Sports News has been told this is unlikely to be a destination for him until at least 2024 or even 2025.
And – despite reports that they are confident of landing the Argentina star and close to agreeing a deal – his MLS destination is by no means assured to be David Beckham’s Inter Miami either at this stage.
Messi restored some faith in Argentina’s bid for what will be his last World Cup on Saturday, scoring in a 2-0 win over Mexico in their second Group C game, following the shock defeat to Saudi Arabia. They play Poland next on Wednesday.