Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville makes his pitch to Lionel Messi

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‘It’s hypothetical… he’s the best player in the world’: Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville makes his pitch to Lionel Messi by talking up the Argentina star and his team’s facilities… despite trying to calm transfer rumors

Phil Neville has attempted to dampen talk of Lionel Messi moving to Inter Miami – but did hail his club’s ability to host superstars as discussions to sign one of soccer’s greatest players continue.

Messi, 35, is in the last year of his contract at Paris Saint-Germain and is set to assess the options on his future after the World Cup, which ends in late December.

Inter have been pitching to Messi and although nothing is agreed, understands MLS and the Miami lifestyle are appealing to Argentina’s talisman.

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And this week, while calling rumors of a move ‘hypothetical’, Neville, who signed a new contract on Monday, was quick to continue the pitch with a wider look at his club’s facilities – and hailing Messi as ‘the best player in the world’.

Phil Neville tried to calm rumors about Messi - before speaking extensively about him

Phil Neville says rumors of signing PSG’s Lionel Messi for Inter Miami are ‘hypothetical’  

Messi trained in Miami was Argentina - and Neville was quick to talk up the club's facilities

Messi trained in Miami was Argentina – and Neville was quick to talk up the club’s facilities

Asked specifically about the Barcelona icon, Neville said: ‘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.’

Messi was part of the Argentina squad that trained and played in Miami in a World Cup warmup back in September.

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‘We actually let him inside our house about five, six weeks ago, when Argentina were here, Neville added. ‘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.

‘We had a little scrimmage against them, the MLS 2 [MLS Next Pro] side, you obviously saw the pictures of their players signing autographs; signing arms, signing legs, signing shoes. It was just the most incredible week.

‘I think we’re really lucky here. We’ve had Barcelona here, we’ve had Argentina here, we’ve got the US national women’s team here now, some of the players are training out there now. It’s brilliant for this football club, and it shows the level of facility that we’ve got.

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‘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.’

Inter Miami, led by co-owner David Beckham, have ambitious plans to rise up MLS despite being founded just four years ago.

Neville and Co’s priorities this winter are expected to be trying to sign Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets and finding a striker to replace retiring Gonzalo Higuain.


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