WHAT OCCURED? On June 30, Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain will officially expire. The club announced his departure prior to their final Ligue 1 match of the year. Since then, speculation about the 35-year-old’s upcoming move has increased as Barcelona officially increases their efforts to get him back to Camp Nou. In recent months, the Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal has also made a strong effort to capture Messi, but Guillem Balague has finally made it known that he will be starting the next phase of his career in America.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: With the aid of corporate sponsors Apple and adidas, Inter Miami has prevailed in the fight to sign Messi. According to The Athletic, adidas has offered the World Cup winner a profit-sharing arrangement to further their long-term connection while he will receive a portion of the MLS Season Pass earnings on Apple TV+.
Additionally, Messi’s father acknowledged this week that his son preferred a return to Barcelona, but their precarious financial position prevented a final agreement. Although Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, and Gerard Pique have all left the team since the beginning of the year, Barca still has to dramatically lower their pay bill before they can acquire any new players. Messi has asked to delay a potential move to the Middle East while considering his alternatives after leaving PSG, according to GOAL, thus Al-Hilal will have to wait until at least 2024 before rekindling their interest in the attacker.