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Lionel Messi still has yet to sign a contract with Inter Miami to make his move to MLS official, according to The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio.
Tenorio reported Messi’s contract is in the “final stages of the legal process.”
“The contract was expected to be signed imminently and the team is planning to officially announce Messi in a press release ahead of an event Sunday in which Messi will be unveiled to fans at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,” he wrote.
It’s almost impossible to foresee any sort of U-turn at this stage.
Inter Miami teased a “major unveiling event” to come this Sunday, and work is already underway to expand DRV PNK Stadium.
Tenorio reported Messi underwent a medical and completed promotional photo and video shoots ahead of his formal debut.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has already committed to suiting up for Inter Miami. If he were to leave, what would he do with all of those groceries?
Inter Miami has been preparing the ground for his arrival as well.
The club hired Gerardo Martino, who coached Messi at Barcelona and with the Argentina national team, as manager to replace Phil Neville. Barça legend Sergio Busquets is all but certain to be reuniting with his former teammate.
The protracted negotiations speak almost entirely to the complex nature of Messi’s contract.
Per The Athletic, the 36-year-old will gain an equity stake of Inter Miami after he retires. He’s also expected to collect a portion of the revenue from Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass subscriptions along with other revenue-sharing deals from some of the league’s commercial partners.
Altogether, Messi will be bringing in around $50-60 million per year.