TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
From their roster to their first head coach to their stadium and training facility, Inter Miami are working furiously on an "aggressive, accelerated timeline" to prepare for their 2020 MLS expansion debut and could complete their first player signings by month's end, sporting director Paul McDonough told the Miami Herald this week.
"We are in contract negotiations with up to six or seven players, heavily involved in that right now, with all levels of guys," McDonough said in an information-rich conversation with the Herald's Michelle Kaufman. "We will have announcements coming soon. We’re close. We’d like to have between four and eight signed by September."
In recent weeks Inter have been linked to Argentinean attackers Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza, among others, not to mention a steady stream of megastar names like Luis Suarez. They might well go for a heavyweight head coach as well.
"We’ve been talking to coaches for a while," said McDonough, noting that Inter have held extended talks with two coaching candidates. "Trying to find the right fit. I don’t want to force it or rush it. Timing is big. Coaches want to be on the field coaching, not sitting in an office for six months. Some are employed, some not employed. MLS experience is not a hard-fast requirement; but if we brought a coach in who did not have MLS experience, then we’d certainly understand there’s a void there and add MLS experience to his immediate support staff."
Inter are currently constructing a new training facility on the site of the former Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale, which will also feature a stadium that will serve as a temporary home ground while their permanent home at Miami Freedom Park moves towards completion.
That poses the biggest time crunch in a multi-faceted expansion ramp-up, though McDonough compared the support and commitment of Miami's ownership favorably to that of Atlanta United, one of two MLS clubs he previously helped lead into the league.
"It’s harder because we’re on such an aggressive, accelerated timeline from a facilities standpoint," he said. "The academy’s been great, support from local clubs excellent. Interest in the club is really, really good from the player standpoint. The facilities have been really, really difficult, but that’s OK. We like a challenge. I had hoped when I came to Miami that the ownership here was as good as the group in Atlanta, and they have proven to be that good."
Read the full article for that and many more tidbits about one of MLS's newest arrivals.