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Another Messi Miami teammate? River Plate boss responds

Stuart Telford
Lionel Messi celebrates for Inter Miami in a US Open Cup match with Cincinnati, 2023
© ProShots

Inter Miami want to sign River Plate midfielder Agustin Palavecino, but Lionel Messi could be denied a new colleague by former Argentina teammate Martin Demichelis.

Inter are in the market for a midfielder ahead of the new Major League Soccer season, and have identified River man Palavecino as an ideal player to sign.

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The David Beckham-backed franchise have designs on winning a maiden MLS title this season after Messi helped fire them to the inaugural Leagues Cup in August, having arrived on a free from Paris Saint-Germain.

He didn’t have enough time to lift them into the MLS Play Offs, though, and one muscular injury highlighted quite how thin the squad was, even if former Barcelona stars Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba also now call the DRV PNK Stadium home.

Palavecino has been a mainstay for River for the last three seasons, with 13 goals and 12 assist from his 128 games over that time, and Tata Martino wants him to add more verve to his midfield.

‘Palavecino important’

But Demichelis, Messi’s Argentina teammate between 2005 and 2016 and now River’s manager, could put the brakes on.

“Martin Demichelis considers Palavecino important,” club president Jorge Brito said curtly when pressed on Inter’s pursuit of his player. “We didn’t have any formal offer, although we know of Inter Miami’s interest.”

Palavecino is valued at €3 million by FootballTransfers’ in-house algorithm and Argentina media outlet Olé claim River would accept around that fee having paid Deportivo Cali less than half that for his signature three years ago.

Palavecino hasn’t won any silverware during his spell with River, but he has ranked in the top second percentile for shot-creating actions among players in his position continent-wide over the last year.

Inter have already added Luis Suarez – yet another former Barca player – to their ranks ahead of the new season, the Uruguayan joining on a free transfer from Gremio.

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