Lionel Messi linked with move to David Beckham's Miami MLS team
David Beckham is eyeing an ambitious move to bring Lionel Messi to his new Miami Major League Soccer team
Inter Miami are due to play their first season in MLS in 2020, and it's now emerged that Beckham, who heads the club's ownership group, wants to bring Messi to the club.
The Times report that the former England captain is keen to bring in world-renowned talent to his club ahead of their debut in the North American top division, with the Barcelona star seen as the ultimate statement signing.
Messi, who will turn 34 in the summer of 2020, signed an extended contract with Barca last year. By the time Inter Miami are launched, that deal will be entering into its final year. Although Messi's latest extension is said to contain a £626m buyout clause, the report says there's a belief in US football circles that a move for Messi may be viable for one MLS team in two year's time - with Inter Miami seen as his most likely suitors.
Miami and much of Florida has a high Hispanic and South American population, making a move for the Argentina international a logical move in terms of pulling in new fans to the club.
Although MLS operates a wage cap, it has introduced rules which allow teams to bring in 'designated players'. Since then, a number of high-profile European and South American players have moved to the league towards the end of their careers - most recently Wayne Rooney.
Inter Miami's name - 'Internacional Club de Futbol Miami' in full - and crest were recently revealed, four years after it became known that Beckham was planning to launch a club in the city.