It is a deal that hinges on one thing: that the MLS club does not reach the play-offs for the MLS Cup.
Messi himself feels that he has unfinished business at Camp Nou and therefore seems to be interested in a return.
For the time being, it seems unlikely that Inter Miami will finish in the playoffs, with a dip in form coinciding with an injury to the 36-year-old World Cup winner.
David Beckham’s franchise is 14th with three games to go. Eighth and ninth places qualify for a place in the post season. The gap to Montreal Impact, who occupy ninth but have played one additional game, is five points.
Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said earlier this week that Messi’s departure from Barcelona was “not to his liking”.
“He could not say goodbye to the club that welcomed him as a child. I think the circumstances were not how Lionel wanted them,” he admitted. “I gave him my word that in the coming years I will do everything to give him the opportunity to say goodbye taking his fans in Barcelona… Inter Miami will go there or we will arrange some kind of match.”
The Argentina legend eventually played 778 matches in the Barcelona shirt, in which he scored 672 times and assisted 303 goals. All three stand as records for the historic club.
Head coach Xavi Hernandez is a former teammate of the world champion and would have liked to bring the attacker back to Barca in the summer. However, Messi’s return was difficult for the financially troubled Barcelona and the 174-time international (102 goals) decided to opt for Inter Miami, despite several charm offensives from club president Joan Laporta.
In Catalunya, there are also rumours that Messi could leave America early to sign for Newell’s Old Boys, the club where he played in the youth academy until he was 13.
However, according to AS, he is likelier to first return to Barcelona.