By Mike Rice.
MLS back-office staff have been preparing for the summer transfer window for some time now and monitoring the contract situations of players across Europe.
Plenty of rumours have circulated around different players who have decisions to make this summer about their next clubs.
This one has been going on for quite a while now, and it looks like Messi will finally move to Inter Miami now his contract with Paris Saint-Germain has come to an end.
It hadn’t been plain sailing for the Argentine star since arriving in the French capital with fans turning on the World Cup winner.
All the talk about one of the greatest ever coming to Inter Miami this season has finally reached an endpoint, but who will join him?
— James Nalton (@JDNalton) June 2, 2021
It appears to be a package deal, to get Messi you need to bring Busquets in as well.
Inter Miami certainly could do with the numbers in midfield with injuries to Gregore especially causing problems.
While Busquets has been one of the greats at Barcelona, at 34 years old will the midfielder fit into a league where athleticism in a defensive midfielder is often required?
Does it matter though? Busquets will arrive with Messi already confirmed and it will be worth it to get Messi to MLS.
The Algerian centre-forward has had some highs and lows in his career but regularly bounced back after moves which haven’t completely suited him.
Slimani is now 34 years old and will be departing Belgian side Anderlecht this summer. After arriving on a short-term contract in January 2023, Slimani managed eight goals in 10 appearances in the Belgian topflight.
As a target-man style centre forward, Slimani can bring experience and a lethal eye to goal to an MLS side looking for a player to make an instant impact.
Nashville has a need for a target man for Hany Muhktar to play off. They are rumoured to be looking into bringing former New England Revolution striker Adam Buksa back to MLS from RC Lens on loan, but if that doesn’t work out, Slimani could be a good short-term option to help them in their bid for an MLS Cup.
The Welsh International looks set to be leaving Nice this summer and Ransey really looks like a Wayne Rooney signing. Should Lewis O’Brien leave when his loan expires this summer then D.C. United will have a hole in the midfield.
Ramsey provides a quality box-to-box style of play. Despite injuries, he can still compete out of possession while being creative on the ball and adept and building attacks from midfield.
Short-term fixes at the back seem necessary for many teams and a World Cup winner could provide excellent leadership at the back, just like how Giorgio Chiellini did for LAFC last season.
For those sides who are looking to push themselves further into the playoffs and compete for an MLS Cup as an outside bet.
It may not be a Wilfried Nancy signing, but when Milos Degenek was ruled out through injury their defence looked very short on leadership. Otamendi would provide a strong level of leadership, as well as strong passing abilities which will suit their style of play.
Austin FC and Sporting Kansas City are two other sides in need of quality and leadership at the back who will be looking to improve defensively to secure their places in this season’s playoffs.
The former Everton and Chelsea midfielder is nearing an end to his time with French side Nice like Aaron Ramsey.
Once considered the next Paul Gascoigne, Barkley’s career stalled while in London as his opportunities at Chelsea were very infrequent. H
e is a player with immense quality at times, though consistency has held him back at the very top level. He is though, someone who can provide a spark in a midfield in MLS.
Atlanta United have replaced Josef Martinez with Giorgos Giakoumakis, while Luiz Araújo is confirmed to be leaving for Flamengo in Brazil. Thiago Almada could be on the way out this summer with the World Cup winner gathering interest from top clubs around the world.
Barkley could be an excellent addition to provide creativity in the final third for Atlanta to continue competing should they lose more of their star players.