David Beckham refuses to rule out signing Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo for Inter Miami

Co-owner says producing home-grown players must be cornerstone of the team though

David Beckham is preparing for his second season as co-owner of Inter Miami. AFP
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David Beckham says his ambition is to bring "great players" like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to Inter Miami but maintains any superstar wanting to join his MLS franchise "has to be right for the team".

Speaking Saturday at an event to launch Miami's new jersey, Inter co-owner Beckham said the club's priority was to develop home-grown talent as the cornerstone of the franchise's long-term success - much like that of Manchester United, where Beckham first came to fame in the 1990s.

However, he acknowledged that a sprinkling of stardust over Phil Neville's squad was also on part of Inter's strategy.

"I have said from day one that our academy system is a massive part of this club and if we can bring players through here that have lived and breathed Inter Miami then that is the goal," Beckham told AFP.

"But we also know that being in Miami, our fans want to see the big stars.

"We already have players like Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi who add to the glitz and glamour but also going forward we want to have the opportunity to bring some great names in."

Messi's time at Barcelona appears to be drawing to a close with the lingering acrimony over his failed attempt to leave last summer coupled with the team's poor performances reportedly major factors. The Argentine, 33, will not be short of suitors should he bring his long association at Camp Nou to an end, and he has previously expressed an interest in a move to the MLS.

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Messi by numbers

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At 36 Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing down and has maintained his sensational scoring form since switching to Juventus from Real Madrid in 2018. The Portugal forward has also previously indicated a desire to move to the US.

Asked about Messi and Ronaldo, Beckham refused to rule out a move for either player.

"The player has to be right for the team, still have ambition and want to win," Beckham said.

"So whatever player we talk to, we have to make sure that is a priority.

"Of course, we always want to bring in great players. Miami is a great pull for anyone and those kinds of players [Messi and Ronaldo] are the kind we aspire to bring here."

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Ronaldo by numbers

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Beckham cited his former United mentor Alex Ferguson as the inspiration behind his recruitment vision.

"Sir Alex Ferguson was the master at choosing the right player, he didn't always bring the best player in the world, he brought the right player for the club and that is one of the things that I have taken into this place," he said.

Miami boss Neville has already added former Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross to his squad as well as Brazilian midfielder Gregore while talks with West Bromwich Albion full-back Kieran Gibbs are ongoing.