Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has squashed rumors that he will leave the club on loan this winter, with a Barcelona reunion a possibility. There were previous suggestions that the Argentine would possibly rejoin the Catalan club following the current Major League Soccer campaign. However, Messi claims that he is looking forward to resting with his family in the coming months.

Star says tough schedule, injuries key reasons for playoff absence

Messi was asked directly by reporters on Tuesday night regarding the possible temporary switch. The star dismissed the notion with an emphatic “no.” The playmaker then spoke about his hectic summer with the new club and his disappointment with not qualifying for the MLS playoffs.

“It’s a shame [we didn’t qualify]. We came very close,” Messi stated after Argentina’s victory against Peru Tuesday night. “I missed the last few games, we had several injuries. The month of July was very hard for us. We played every three days. But we won a tournament, which is important for the club and for what is coming next year.”

Messi opts for rest and family instead of Barcelona loan

Messi then laid out his offseason plans once Miami finishes their current campaign. The club is set to complete their 2023 season with a visit to Charlotte on Saturday, Oct. 21. “I will train, I will play our upcoming match and I will try to get here [to the national team] in the best possible way for November,” continued Messi.

“After that, I will enjoy the holidays in Argentina. It’s the first time that I am going to have more days off in December, with the holidays, with peace of mind, with my people. In January, I will return again to do preseason. Start from scratch and prepare as best as possible as always.”

MLS regular seasons tend to start in mid-February. This means that Messi will soon receive a much-needed break from playing club soccer. The 36-year-old superstar has dealt with a series of relatively minor injuries in recent months. The upcoming extended recess will surely be welcomed by both the player and Messi fans alike.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Photogamma