Lionel Messi’s contract talks are set to become the biggest story in soccer with multiple suitors potentially lining up to acquire the World Cup champion and international star.
Messi is evaluating options as his deal with Paris Saint-Germain expires this summer and while he has reportedly had extension talks, interest has also been expressed by Major League Soccer club Inter Miami CF.
MLS commissioner Don Garber reflected on a potential Messi deal. In an interview with The Athletic, Garber said Messi would be a great addition to the league.
‘You’re dealing with perhaps the most special player in the history of the game,’ Garber said. ‘So, when there are rumors of him connected to Miami, that’s great. And if it could happen, it would be terrific for MLS, it would be terrific for Messi and his family, and like everything with us, we try to run every opportunity down. I can’t give any more details than that because we don’t have them.’
So, what would a potential Messi deal look like?
Garber mentioned that an MLS deal would be creative. Inter Miami would have to craft the right compensation to land the 36-year-old standout. Currently, Toronto FC star Lorenzo Insigne is the highest-paid player in the league with a base salary of $14 million.
‘We’re gonna have to structure a deal that’s going to compensate [Messi] in ways that he and his family expect,’ Garber said in terms of contract flexibility. ‘What that is? Honestly, we don’t know today.’
Speculation is that Messi could draw a contract similar to Cristiano Ronaldo’s new deal with Saudi club Al Nassar. Ronaldo is reportedly getting $75 million per year, according to The Athletic.
‘Teams have the flexibility to do unique things,’ Garber said.
It’s already been a whirlwind year for Messi, winning the 2022 World Cup with Argentina and FIFA’s Best men’s player award – his seventh time being named FIFA’s player of the year.