Inter Miami chief soccer officer & sporting director Chris Henderson and head coach Phil Neville have both refused to be drawn on the club’s links to Lionel Messi.
As reported by 90min, the Herons are one of at least three MLS clubs understood to be interested in acquiring the iconic Argentine, who is also on the shortlist of former club FC Barcelona.
Earlier this week, Inter Miami announced they’d signed head coach Neville to a new one-year contract. During the following press conference, both Henderson and Neville were asked about the links to Messi, but the pair remained coy on the topic.
“I knew Messi would come up!” Henderson joked to reporters. “It’s great to be connected with amazing players. I don’t want to comment on someone who’s not on our roster.”
Messi was part of the Argentina squad that trained and played in Miami back in September, with the 35-year-old scoring twice in La Albiceleste’s 3-0 win over Honduras at Hard Rock Stadium.
Neville commented on watching Messi and Argentina using Inter Miami’s training facilities.
“We actually let him inside our house about five, six weeks ago, when Argentina were here,” he said. “I watched all the sessions to see those great players on our pitch. It was something really special for the club.
“And I think when you talk about characters, when you talk about humility, when you talk about the right type of people, that Argentinian squad and staff were absolutely incredible. Incredible towards our football club.”
Though Messi is understood to be taking his time over decisions regarding his future, safe at PSG with his contract running until June 2023 with an option for a further 12 months, it’s thought he could become an Inter Miami player even as early as next year.
Still, Neville wouldn’t comment on speculation and branded any such talk as ‘hypothetical’ at this point.
“I think that’s hypothetical really. The best player in the world, I’m looking forward to seeing him play at the World Cup, alongside other great players,” said the former Man Utd and Everton defender.
“I’m not going to speculate on any kind of transfer activity, but what I would say is that is exactly the type of character that I saw in that week, that those Argentinian players were a credit to their country, and to their profession.”
Watch the story of Charlotte FC’s journey to MLS in 90min’s The Making of Charlotte FC, presented by DoorDash, on 90min channels now. Subscribe to our new US YouTube channel.