EPL

Rumour Has It: Claims Messi to buy into Inter Miami in 2023

By Sports Desk May 18, 2022

Lionel Messi's much-publicised move to Paris Saint-Germain has not gone as planned.

Messi's departure from Barcelona to join Kylian Mbappe and Neymar has not translated into European silverware despite lofty expectations in the French capital.

While the 34-year-old's future at PSG might be in doubt, he reportedly appears to be setting himself up for life post-football.

TOP STORY – MESSI TO BUY INTO INTER MIAMI   

Messi will acquire 35 per cent of shares in Inter Miami and the join the MLS franchise when his contract expires at PSG, according to DIRECTV.

The Argentina international made a very public and emotional departure from Barcelona last year, before signing a two-year deal at PSG.

Despite six goals and 13 assists in 25 Ligue 1 appearances this season, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has not propelled PSG to European success.

While Messi has previously confirmed his desire to play in the MLS and live in the United States, it will reportedly eventuate after his deal expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.

However, Sport has disputed the report, saying Messi's camp insist "the player has not defined his future".

ROUND-UP

– The Mirror is reporting 20-year-old Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is a target for Manchester United, with talks already believed to have taken place over his transfer.

– Juventus have offered Paul Pogba, who will be available on a free transfer when his United deal expires, a three-year-deal and a €7.5million annual salary, according to Goal.

– In further anticipated player turnover at Old Trafford, Roma coach Jose Mourinho wants to bring in 33-year-old Nemanja Matic on a free transfer, per Calciomercato.

– Manchester City are preparing a £30m move for Brighton and Hove Albion's Marc Cucurella, the Daily Mail reports.

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    Despite that, Shaw received a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024, though the England manager said he is a "long shot" to make the final squad.

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    "I don’t normally react to things I see on social media but there’s a lot of people questioning my loyalty to this club and asking how I am fit for England but not United.

    "The reality is I am not 100% fit for either right now, but I am doing everything I can and constantly working to be [fit]. I have been at this club for 10 years through highs and lows and for anyone to question my loyalty is obviously frustrating.

    "My biggest focus right now is being fit and then whatever happens this summer I will be ready."

    England will play two friendlies before the Euros, and Southgate will announce his official 26-man squad following their game against Iceland on June 7.  

  • Pineda confident things will turn for Atlanta ahead of Miami trip Pineda confident things will turn for Atlanta ahead of Miami trip

    Gonzalo Pineda remains confident things will turn for Atlanta United after nine MLS games without a victory, as the Five Stripes prepare to visit Inter Miami on Wednesday.

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    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Inter Miami – Leonardo Campana

    Prior to missing last week's trip to Vancouver, Messi had gone consecutive starts without a goal contribution for the second time since joining Miami last year. 

    Fortunately for the Herons, Campana has stepped up, hitting back-to-back winners against D.C. United and the Whitecaps. He has four goals in MLS this term, despite only making six starts.

    Atlanta United – Brooks Lennon

    No Atlanta player has recorded more key passes in MLS this year than Lennon's 33, a tally only Almada can match. 

    If the Five Stripes are to end their dismal run of form, he could have a key role to play.

    MATCH PREDICTION – INTER MIAMI WIN

    Atlanta are winless in 13 straight away matches in all competitions (seven draws, six defeats), and have now managed just four wins in their last 43 road games.

    Miami, meanwhile, are unbeaten in their last 10 MLS matches, winning seven of the last eight. They even showed they can cope without Messi on Saturday, recording just their third win in 14 matches without the Argentine since his arrival last July (five draws, six losses).

    Miami have never lost a home game against Atlanta, winning four and drawing two versus them, including winning each of the teams' last three clashes in Fort Lauderdale.

    The only road win in the 12-match history of the teams' series was a 2-1 victory for the Herons at Atlanta in September 2020.

    Martino's team enter Wednesday's game as big favourites, regardless of the status of their stars.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Inter Miami – 51.2%

    Atlanta United – 25.7%

    Draw – 23.1%

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