Phil Neville: Lionel Messi to MLS would be biggest signing in history


A move to MLS remains a possibility for Lionel Messi, with Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville having his say on a prospective deal.

Lionel Messi moving to MLS to join Inter Miami would be “the biggest signing in history”, according to the club’s head coach Phil Neville.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has been heavily linked with a move to the United States and is in the final six months of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain.

Ligue 1 giants PSG are keen to retain the services of the 35-year-old, who added the World Cup to his host of trophies last year, but there could be a fierce battle for his signature.

A move to MLS would see Messi follow in the footsteps of the likes of Miami co-owner David Beckham, Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard, although he is likely to cause even more frenzy.

Neville believes it would be a signing like no other, with the unyielding Messi the type of player his club need in the market.

“I think it would probably be the biggest signing ever,” he told Athletic.

“I can’t think of another star of that magnitude coming here from a big football country. It’s maybe similar [to Beckham’s arrival] but maybe even bigger.

“I think you’re talking about one of the greatest football players of all time. When you talk about Miami, we have to be for players like that, you know?”

Should Miami succeed in luring Messi to MLS, Neville accepts the club will have to make significant logistical changes to accommodate such a respected figure.

“Things will be different. The trees might have to be bigger [around the training ground]. There might have to be tighter security,” he explained.

“The walk the players have to the stadium today may be different. The journey may be different. The hotels we stay in may be different.”

“But actually that might be what we’re trying to be anyway. It’s exciting, but I think it would be a huge challenge.”

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