“Messi has signed at Inter Miami! This sentence blew up the soccer planet last week. However, it is not entirely accurate. The Argentine’s pen has not yet been affixed to any piece of paper.

Last Wednesday, the Pulga claimed in the Spanish media that he will continue his career in Miami. A little taken aback, MLS said in a brief statement later in the day that they were “pleased that Lionel Messi has declared his intention to join Inter Miami CF and Major League Soccer this summer. “.

“While a formal deal has yet to be finalized, we look forward to welcoming one of football’s greatest players of all time to our league. Nebulous.

The problem is administrative. Inter Miami has three Designated Players, the limit imposed by MLS rules. It goes without saying that Messi will have to take a Designated Player slot, the category reserved for employees whose total compensation and acquisition costs exceed the maximum salary budget – that amount was $612,500 in 2022.

Some may avoid this label by being defined as TAM players, that Monopoly-worthy money created by MLS, but these are players who are very close to the maximum salary budget (up to 1.65 million). Nevertheless, Messi is expected to outrageously exceed that sum.

So let’s go back to that three designated player limit. Inter Miami currently has three, Leonardo Campana, Gregore and Rodolfo Pizarro. The pink flamingos cannot seek another designated player spot by transaction and will have to do some cleaning at home before receiving Messi.

The conclusion is very simple: one of the three designated players will have to leave the club through a loan, through a trade in the circuit, through a sale or be partially bought out. According to The Athletic media, the last option will be used to change Gregore’s status in training and open this necessary position.

In a scenario where Miami wants to add another Designated Player in 2023, the club could also buy out one of its Designated Players. Not the ideal option, but still an avenue.

At the end of a long and grueling campaign which also included a World Cup, Messi will have a few weeks of well-deserved vacation. He will then go on the march during the summer in his new black and pink uniform.

A safe bet that at this time, he will not only carry souvenirs and trophies in his suitcase, but also the contract proposal of some of his friends.

The transfer window guru Fabrizio Romano has also claimed that two of Messi’s former teammates at FC Barcelona, ​​​​Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, are in negotiations with Miami and the same goes for his Argentine compatriot Ángel Di Maria. .

However, not all of these beautiful people and those whose names will be associated with Miami will be able to bring their talent to South Beach.

Sure, it’s possible to circumvent MLS regulations with a few sleight of hand – like turning Gareth Bale into a TAM player – but it’s not such an easy option. Especially considering the limited designated player spots.

Inter Miami are already in the third of the teams with the biggest payrolls, currently occupying the ninth echelon. He is also still affected by financial sanctions after having made mistakes in recent years, in particular with the salary of French international midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

So, arm yourself with caution in the coming weeks as a few of Messi’s friends will join him, but now any player with a semi-relevant link to the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be potential targets.

By July 5, the date of the opening of the MLS summer transfer window, names and rumors will be coming from all over the place.