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Lionel Messi linked with return to Barcelona for second half of 2023-24 season

However, Messi has been absent for Inter Miami’s last few matches due to injury, which has seen their form take a serious slump. At this stage, their participation in the end-of-season MLS play-offs looks incredibly doubtful.

If Inter Miami do fail to qualify, there are rumours – as re-laid by Sport – that they could allow Messi to join Barcelona on loan in January. There has been cases of MLS clubs doing this in the past, with David Beckham going to AC Milan and Thierry Henry returning to Arsenal.

Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas has said in recent days that he will allow Messi to bid his farewell to the Barcelona faithful, although it appears that this could come sooner than expected. Although, it is just speculation at this stage.