Just three months after leaving LAFC, Lee Nguyen is preparing to face off against the 2019 Supporters Shield winners in the colors of expansion side Inter Miami. But if recent transfer speculation is to be believed the 33-year-old's time in South Beach may not last very long.
Last week local reports in Vietnam quoted an unnamed source from Ho Chi Minh City FC claiming that they were in discussions over a deal that would offer Nguyen a salary in excess of $400,000 salary to take him back to Vietnam ahead of the MLS season. Speaking at Miami's training complex in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, however, Nguyen insisted he was not aware of any interest.
“Personally, no I have not been in talks with them,” he told reporters. When asked whether his agent may have, the former LAFC player said, “I have no idea. He hasn’t told me anything about that. I have been focused with Miami so far.”
Nguyen holds dual citizenship in the United States and Vietnam. Before breaking out in the MLS with the New England Revolution, he spent some time in V.League 1 clubs Hoang Anh Gia Lai and Becamex Binh Duong FC between 2009 and 2011, where he found the net 11 times in 44 matches.
Signed by Miami via the 2019 Expansion Draft, Nguyen is expected to provide veteran leadership in Diego Alonso’s young squad. The playmaker made his mark in MLS by scoring 54 goals and providing 35 assists in all competitions with the New England Revolution. In 2014, he was selected among the MLS’ Best XI. That season, Nguyen helped lead the Revolution to second place in the Eastern Conference and a spectacular run to the MLS Cup Finals, where Nguyen and company eventually fell to the LA Galaxy.
Competition for places at the sharp end of Inter Miami's midfield has been intensified, however, with the club spending big to land Liga MX star Rodolfo Pizarro. Speaking Tuesday, Inter Miami Managing Owner Jorge Mas revealed that the club were also hoping to complete a loan deal for Boca Juniors midfielder Agustin Almendra "very, very soon."