MLS commissioner says league has ‘flexibility’ to pursue Lionel Messi

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With just three months left in the Ligue 1 season, Lionel Messi has yet to agree a contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain. If that doesn’t change by the time the European transfer window opens on July 1, teams will have the chance to present their field in front of arguably the greatest player of all time, and the commissioner of MLS Don Garber is confident in the league’s ability to do so. competitive offer.

“Teams have the flexibility to do unique things,” Garber told The Athletic in a recent interview. “MLS is a single entity. If you’re selling something that’s owned by the collective, the collective has to approve it. So whatever. [Inter Miami owner] George [Mas] decide, with [MLS executive vice president Todd Durbin’s] help structure something, if we have the opportunity to do it, it will go outside the box.

“Because as you all know what is happening in international football today with [Cristiano] Ronaldo with 100 million dollars [a year] … the transfer market is exploding in unimaginable ways. We will have to structure a settlement that will compensate him in the way that he and his family expect. What is this? We honestly don’t know today, but it probably won’t [targeted allocation money] player”.

The highest paid player in Major League Soccer is currently Lorenzo Insigne, who earns $14 million a year with Toronto FC. That’s just over half of the $26 million a year Messi earns with PSG, and far less than what clubs in Saudi Arabia are expected to offer the 35-year-old.

To bridge this gap, an MLS team can offer Messi a deal similar to the one David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy in 2007, Beckham signed a five-year, $32.5 million contract with the Galaxy, but the his contract also included a revenue share. at the club According to Forbes, Beckham’s MLS earnings were close to $255 million. Beckham’s contract also included an option to buy an MLS expansion team for a fixed fee of $25 million. His club, Inter Miami CF, is now valued at $600 million.

A contract of that size would be riskier today than it was back then because of how the league has grown, but Messi is the type of player that would be worth going all out for, especially with the FIFA World Cup coming to the United States . in 2026.

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