TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Trade
- MIA get: Alejandro Pozuelo
- TOR get: $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) + additional conditional GAM + sell-on percentage
Inter Miami CF have completed a blockbuster trade by acquiring midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, from Toronto FC in exchange for a guaranteed $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM), the clubs announced Thursday.
The deal includes additional conditional GAM if certain performance-based metrics are met, and Toronto retain a sell-on percentage in the event of a permanent transfer outside MLS / trade within MLS of Pozuelo. The guaranteed GAM breaks down as $75,000 in 2022 and another $75,000 in 2023.
The move fills Inter Miami’s last remaining Designated Player spot, joining striker Gonzalo Higuain and midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro (on loan at Liga MX’s Monterrey) with that tag. It also gives Toronto increased roster flexibility entering the Secondary Transfer Window (runs July 7 to Aug. 4) as the Reds look to fill their third DP spot – all as Italy national team forward Lorenzo Insigne joins their rebuild project from Napoli.
Just over half of the 2022 campaign remains, and teams are seeking ways to climb the table – both via additions from within MLS and abroad.
"We’re thrilled to be able to welcome a player of Alejandro’s caliber. He has proven himself to be one of the brightest talents in the league and we are confident that will continue here in South Florida,” Inter Miami chief soccer officer and sporting director Chris Henderson said in a release. “We were looking to add a decisive, creative attacking player and we feel he fits the profile.”
Pozuelo, 30, was entering the last year of his contract with Toronto. The Spanish playmaker originally arrived early into the 2019 campaign from Belgium’s Genk, and has since tallied 26 goals and 31 assists in 88 regular-season appearances.
A key part of Toronto’s MLS Cup 2019 finalist team, Pozuelo is one of MLS’s premier chance-creators and figures to pair alongside Brazilian midfielders Jean Mota and Gregore in head coach Phil Neville’s first-choice lineup.
Without Pozuelo, Toronto will further lean upon veterans Jonathan Osorio and Michael Bradley in the central midfield. They’ve also been heavily linked with outgoing Juventus and Italy national team attacking midfielder Federico Bernardeschi, who’d reportedly join on a free transfer and occupy a DP spot.
Further, Pozuelo may not be Toronto's only outgoing DP. Reports suggest they're open to dealing away center back Carlos Salcedo due to family reasons, less than a half-year after landing the Mexican international from Liga MX's Tigres UANL.
"Alejandro has been a true professional since arriving here in 2019. He was instrumental in helping us win the 2019 Eastern Conference title, was the league MVP in 2020 and provided our fans with so many memorable goals and assists," Toronto FC president Bill Manning said in a release. “He is a good person, and we wish him nothing but the best."
The trade comes amid dramatic roster transformations for both Eastern Conference clubs after they missed the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in 2021. They’ve already combined for well over 50 incoming and outgoing transactions since last offseason.
Heading into MLS Week 19, both clubs remain chasing a postseason return. Inter Miami (6W-7L-4D record) are ninth in the East, while Toronto (5W-10L-3D record) are 12th in the East and have reached the 2022 Canadian Championship Final.