(Fort Lauderdale) Inter Miami are still targeting a July 21 debut for their new star player Lionel Messi, although that date is not official.

Sporting director Chris Henderson says paperwork for Messi and new manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino is still being processed.

Martino was introduced by the team on Wednesday but cannot actually start coaching the club until his visa process is complete. Messi is expected to sign with the team in early July and there are plans to hold a presentation event to highlight the whole thing on July 16.

“As for Messi, the terms of the contract are already agreed, but we are working on the paperwork with MLS, which will take time,” Henderson said. We expect him to be ready for action somewhere in mid-July. »

Inter Miami confirmed last week that Messi is expected to earn between 50 and 60 million US per year.

Messi was in Argentina, his native country, recently. He played a few friendlies last weekend. The athlete is now on vacation before arriving in Florida.

Inter Miami are 5-13-0 this season, the worst of the 15 Eastern Conference teams.