FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Inter Miami’s capture of a third Designated Player might have to wait a bit. Maybe even until the summer.
Five days are all that separate Inter Miami from its first official match, and the club is heading into Sunday’s season opener against star-studded LAFC with one unused DP slot. The expansion club has talked in recent weeks about filling that spot with a striker from abroad, but may not do so for a few months.
“There’s a possibility we wait until that summer window for that 9,” said co-owner Jorge Mas at practice on Tuesday morning. “We have alternatives. The injury to Julian Carranza, obviously it’s an injury that’s unexpected, so we need some depth at that position. In all likelihood, our main DP will probably be in the summer window or we’ll have some type of loan transaction in the short term.”
The question that seems to come up every time the topic of Inter Miami adding a Designated Player is mentioned is what kind of signing the club will make. The team has to this point acquired promising yet relatively unknown talents like Carranza and Mexican playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro as DPs, but has not landed the big-name star that it had said previously it wanted.
There is no guarantee, however, that the third DP will be a world-renowned player. No matter when he comes.
“The goal here is to win. We’ve got to win,” said Mas. “Obviously if you bring in an established star, it’s because it’s a quality person who will help you win, but this is about winning. This isn’t just about bringing a name for marketing and PR and selling 1,000 more jerseys. That’s not the objective.
“The objective is to win. There are very high-profile players that we’re extremely interested in. We’ve been linked to a lot of them, but we’re looking at 9s and I think that’s where our final DP will go.”
Mas added that Inter Miami is looking for a forward capable of scoring 25-plus goals a season. The club had admittedly been in talks with Colombian striker Roger Martinez, but terms could not be reached. Other players that have been rumored as recent Inter Miami targets have been veteran superstars like Sergio Aguero, Luis Suarez, and Edinson Cavani.
Whether Inter Miami is in talks with those types of players or someone more in the mold of Martinez is currently unknown. The team is, however, not overly concerned about the absence of a recognizable superstar on the squad ahead of this weekend’s opening match in Los Angeles.
“We have big players, we have big players in this team already, a lot of great young talent,” said co-owner David Beckham. “I don’t think personally that anyone would be frustrated that we haven’t got a big name-player for our first game. I think at the end of the day, this is how the game is run, this is how football is run.
“Like I said, we will bring in big players but we’re happy with our team.”