Football star Lionel Messi set to join US side Inter Miami

Argentine football star Lionel Messi has told Spanish media he is close to joining US side Inter Miami, owned by England and Manchester United legend David Beckham.

"I made the decision that I'm going to go to Miami," he told two Spanish newspapers in a joint interview on Wednesday. "I still haven't closed it 100%," he added.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner essentially became a free agent after bidding adieu to Paris Saint-Germain this season. His contract with the French side will officially end on 30 June.

Messi had been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia - to potentially follow in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema.

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Messi had also been rumoured to be eyeing up a return to Spanish side Barcelona, where he made 520 appearances between 2004 and 2021. But reports now suggest the 35-year-old striker ruled out the move back to Catalonia amid the club's financial issues.

"I was very excited to be able to return [to Barcelona], but after having experienced what I experienced and the exit I had, I did not want to be in the same situation again," Messi said.

His move to the States would be a major boost for American soccer, which has attracted superstars like Pele, Wayne Rooney and Thierry Henry over the years.

It would also be the first time Messi plays for a team outside of Europe.