Inter Miami to become 'Barcelona legends' with Busquets, Alba set to join Messi

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Lionel Messi has always had a magnetic charm as a footballer, and it seems that his decision to sign with Major League Soccer (MLS) side Inter Miami FC has also attracted his former teammates Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

If both players decide to join Messi in the United States next season, then Inter Miami’s squad will start to look like an FC Barcelona “legends” team. One of the club’s co-owners, David Beckham, has always made it clear that it is his desire to bring Europe’s biggest names to Miami to spend the final years of their illustrious careers. After the signing of Messi, it looks like Beckham is on course to fulfil his dream.

Mundo Deportivo broke the news earlier this month that the Argentine opted against a lucrative offer from Saudi Arabia. He also decided to let go of the possibility of making a sensational return to FC Barcelona, even though the club have indicated their plans to go through the needle just to be able to make the move feasible from a financial point of view.

“I have made the decision that I’m going to go to Inter Miami. I still don’t have it closed 100%, some things still need to be sorted but I have decided to continue on this path,” declared Messi, sending fans in a frenzy over at the United States.

He shared that he would have wanted to rejoin Barcelona, but his previous experiences that led to his exit two years ago made him decide to take a different path. “I was very excited to be able to return, but, on the other hand, having lived what I lived and the exit I had (in 2021), I did not want to be in the same situation again. (I did not) wait to see what was going to happen and leave my future in the hands of others,” he said.

It may be remembered that he fully intended to extend his contract with the club in the summer of 2021, before he was belatedly informed that the club could not afford to keep him. He was then left with no choice but to accept a lucrative two-year deal from Paris Saint-Germain.

“The time I had to leave before (in 2021), LaLiga had also accepted my registration, and in the end it could not be done. Well, I was afraid that the same thing would happen again,” he shared.

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets says he is more worried about team meetings and travel than training
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP

Sergio Busquets set to follow in Messi’s footsteps

Meanwhile, the man who inherited Messi’s armband at Barcelona, Sergio Busquets, will also be out of contract this summer. He has confirmed that he won’t be signing an extension, and is now heavily being linked with a move to Inter Miami as well.

Beckham has previously named him as a target, and it seems as though the move might come to fruition this summer. Busquets reportedly has offers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, but a move to the USA has become more appealing after Messi revealed his plans. The offers from the Middle East will likely be more lucrative, but Messi might be able to convince his former teammate to go for the calmer environment in the MLS.

Mega Barcelona reunion with the addition of Jordi Alba

Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba celebrate Barca’s opening goal against Huesca last season
AFP / Pau BARRENA

Apart from Messi and potentially Busquets, Inter Miami are also reported to be in advanced talks with Jordi Alba. The player was not initially believed to be available until 2024, but he and Barcelona mutually agreed to terminate his contract a year early. As such, he will be free to make a move to reunite with his former teammates across the Atlantic.

Xavi will be left without several of the pillars of his squad, especially with the early retirement of Gerard Pique in the middle of the 2022-23 season. On the upside, the club will be able to free up a large chunk of their wage bill, allowing Xavi to make decisions about how he wants to build his squad for the long-term future.

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