According to reports in Spain, MLS teams could cooperate in bankrolling a sensational move to bring Messi to the United States. The plan allows the 35-year-old to choose which MLS team he plays for if he signs.
Messi is out of contract at PSG at the end of June and is already attracting interest from several European sides and MLS side Inter Miami.
The Stateside club has repeatedly been linked with a swoop for the Argentina World Cup winner and has been vocal in their admiration of the player.
However, Messi’s wages could be a stumbling block in the deal. The 35-year-old earns around $1.1million-a-week, which would breach the US league’s financial restrictions.
But according to the Spanish publication Sport, all 29 MLS sides are discussing a unique structure that would see them all contribute money if Messi makes the move Stateside.
MLS chiefs believe that if the seven-time Balon d’Or winner were to join, it would boost the soccer profile before the 2026 World Cup, which will be held in the USA, Canada and Mexico. As well as hosting the 2026 World Cup, the United States will also host the 2024 Copa America next summer.
The plan could see each MLS club contribute financially to fund part of Messi’s £900,000-a-week ($1.1m) salary. But it will mean Messi will choose which team he will play for.
New York City, Inter Miami, Los Angeles or Atlanta, who currently have an Argentina international teammate of Messi’s in Thiago Almada, are all options.
The report adds that US teams would be happy to ultimately pay to play against Messi because his presence would mean the money involved for MLS television rights would improve. In addition, Messi has a house in Miami, and it has been reported that his family would like to live in the States.
However, Sport claims that Messi would prefer to remain in Europe if he were to leave PSG this summer. The Argentine has been linked with a return to Barcelona, where he spent most of his outstanding career, but his former club is currently enduring considerable economic problems.