The Argentinian moved to MLS side Inter Miami, owned by David Beckham, in the summer transfer window, and has set the league alight, with 11 goals in 13 appearances.
Lionel Messi looks set to be staying put in Inter Miami for the upcoming season, according to multiple football journalists, including Guillem Balagué and Fabrizio Romano.
The MLS season officially finished on Wednesday, with the Miami based side missing out on a playoff spot with a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati. The season will will not resume until six months later in February.
Due to this lengthy break, Messi had been linked with a loan move back to Barcelona and Al-Hilal, two clubs rejected during the summer to instead accept the move to the US.
“Messi will have around one month holiday, like other footballers. So forget any move to Saudi or similar,” said Spanish football journalist, Guillem Balagué, who was one of the first to report Messi’s move to Miami.
Inter Miami coach Tata Martino, who also coached Messi at Barcelona and Argentina, described the rumours as surprising.
“That’s surprising. I know nothing about that. If you’re telling me that he’s going to go visit Barcelona on vacation, yes, it’s probable, but I don’t have any information on the other part.”
Prior to the Argentinian’s arrival, Inter Miami were down at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with merely 5 wins in 16 matches. Messi made an impact instantaneously, with the team going on an eleven game unbeaten streak, scoring 11 goals in 13 games.
They also won the club’s first ever trophy since its foundation in 2014, the Leagues Cup, which they beat Nashville SC in the final on penalties.
However, with Messi ruled out with a scar tissue injury in early September, he missed out on five crucial games for the MLS side, and led to a big drop off by Inter Miami, mirroring their performances before he joined.
His crucial absence was apparent as the team had won only one, drawn two and lost two during his injury.
The 2022 Qatar World Cup winner is not in action for his club until January, when pre-season starts, however will play a number of games for his national side in the six month period, including two World Cup qualifiers this week, against fellow South American sides Paraguay and Peru.