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How Inter Miami will line up with Messi and friends
Inter Miami will reunite former Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gerardo Martino at the DRV PNK Stadium this summer, with more stars set to follow. How will David Beckham's franchise line up?
Messi joins Inter on a free transfer, having spurned the advances of Barca on expiry of his Paris Saint-Germain contract.
His is the biggest MLS arrival since Beckham's to LA Galaxy in 2007, and arguably the league's most important ever - the Herons have already seen their merchandise sales skyrocket by 4,500 per cent before the Argentina World Cup winner has kicked a ball in anger.
While Messi and Busquets have been announced, their former Barcelona manager Martino has gone one better, overseeing his first two games in charge - back-to-back draws against Austin FC and Columbus Crew.
Inter Miami with Messi and friends?
It is now 10 years since Martino's single, bittersweet, season at Barcelona, where he won the Supercopa de Espana but was pipped to the La Liga title by Atletico Madrid on the final day.
Whilst he used a 4-3-3 almost religiously back then, Martino experimented more in his most recent role as Mexico manager, and his first two games at Inter have seen him use a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-2-1.
Whilst not identical, a lone striker and double pivot are common denominators, and his former players should relish playing in a system that lets Busquets anchor the midfield while Messi is spared the hard running of playing on the right of the attack.
This is the best Messi video ever. Enjoy. pic.twitter.com/8wFKItCPy6
— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) November 9, 2022
At the back, Ramos has also left PSG on a free transfer. The former Real Madrid captain and Messi's great Clasico rival also reportedly has offers from Saudi Arabia, but he has been approached by Inter according to Fabrizio Romano.
The aforementioned Barca reunion could be complemented by a Real one, meanwhile, with Hazard - still Madrid's record signing - also an object of the club's affections, according to Spanish outlet Relevo.
One of Ramos and Hazard would have to settle for a non-Designated Player's contract, meanwhile. Rodolfo Pizarro has slammed the club ahead of his axing to make way for another DP contract - the MLS rule is a maximum of three per team - but some of the difference can be made up for with a percentage of jersey sales, which is what Alba might have to settle for.
"Two or three more players will come," confirmed Beckham's co-owner Jorge Mas after the Busquets signing. "We spoke with Jordi Alba - while Luis Suarez has a contract and a release clause. I don't know if that will happen or not."
Whilst Suarez's arrival would be another mouth-watering one, Inter do at least have a proven MLS goalscorer in Josef Martinez, who hit 93 in 131 games for Atalanta United before joining in January.