Of course, when you land a player like Lionel Messi in a transfer window, speculation runs rampant on who else the club might pick up.
The allure of playing with someone of Messi’s caliber is usually enough to draw out plenty during the “silly season” of transfers.
Let’s get into it.
Inter Miami Was the Big Target of the “Silly Season”
Once the Major League Soccer transfer window opened and the club made Messi and Busquets’ signing official, links started to fly of other players looking to move to South Florida.
It makes sense.
I mean, what player wouldn’t want the chance to play with one of the greatest players of all time?
One of the biggest links was Gremio forward Luis Suarez. The former Liverpool and Barcelona striker was tied heavily to the Herons as he was looking for a way out of Brazil to play with his former teammates in Messi and Busquets.
However, contract issues and a nagging knee injury pushed Suarez out of the running to join Inter Miami in this transfer window. Now, the potential is he will end his contract with Gremio at the end of the season in December and potentially join Inter Miami in 2024.
Then, of course, there was Sergio Ramos.
Another former Messi teammate without a club and with deep links to joining Inter Miami during the transfer season.
However, like Suarez, nothing materialized — as often happens with transfer rumors — leaving Ramos to ponder his playing future.
Another Messi Teammate Not Coming to Inter Miami
Perhaps one of the least talked about rumors of players potentially coming to Inter Miami was Andres Iniesta.
The former Spanish international was another former Barcelona player who was named the 2012 UEFA Best Player in Europe award winner.
He was part of Barcelona’s youth program before being called up to the senior side in 2002 during the UEFA Champions League.
In 2005, Iniesta played in all but one La Liga match for Barcelona and continued with the team until 2018 when he joined Vissel Kobe in Japan — despite signing a lifetime contract with Barcelona.
This season, links were heavy that he would join his former teammates at Inter Miami as he was featured less for Vissel during the most recent season.
However, the transfer window closed and Iniesta, like Ramos, was left to ponder his future.
On Tuesday, Iniesta arrived in the United Arab Emirates to join Emirates Club FC in the UAE to continue his playing career.
Like Suarez, I think not signing Iniesta is a good thing for Inter Miami.
I know we love the allure of big names signing for the club, but we can’t overlook the need to develop younger talent to look toward the future.
All three were signed under the U-22 Initiative of Major League Soccer and have a great chance to flourish under the tutelage of players like Messi, Busquets and Alba.
Overall, I would give Inter Miami a solid A for their transfer activity — both for players they signed and ones they avoided.