Lionel Messi opted to make the move to the USA in 2024 instead of returning to Barcelona.
After his contract at Paris Saint-Germain expired at the end of 2022/23 season, Messi was offered three options to extend his career.
The Argentina captain opted against a move to the Saudi Pro League with financial issues blocking a possible switch back to Barcelona.
Messi eventually agreed a deal to join Inter Miami as part of his plan to keep playing in the years ahead.
La Liga president Javier Tebas confirmed Barcelona were in advanced talks with Messi over moving back to Spain, but an agreement could not be reached between both parties.
“Because of Messi and Barcelona’s desire, I saw a return as close”, as per quotes from Kick, via the Daily Mirror.
“I saw it as possible. I’m sure Messi would have liked to retire at Barca.”
Messi is currently away on preseason training with Inter Miami ahead of the start of his first full campaign in Florida.
He netted 11 goals in his first few months since landing in the USA alongside winning a Leagues Cup title over Nashville in August.