The MLS action has stopped, but the reports and rumors linking Inter Miami to various players around the world certainly have not.
Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough held a teleconference with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the team returned to the fields at its training facility. Much of the talk during the call was about the players practicing again after a two-month hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic, but a good bit of it also circled around the numerous players that Inter Miami has been connected with in recent times.
One of the players mentioned was Boca Juniors center midfielder Augustin Almendra, whom Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said was due to arrive via loan “very, very soon” back in February.
“We had conversations with Boca,” said McDonough on Wednesday. “We were trying to get things done and it’s just kind of been on pause. We’re trying to wait and see what happens when we come out of this and what shape everybody is in and what the appetite is for us to do it and the availability of other players in the market.”
Speaking of other players who might soon be available, McDonough also touched briefly on Gareth Bale. Reports in Europe back in January named Inter Miami as a favorite to sign Bale from Real Madrid, and they resurfaced again this week after the Welsh winger stated that he would “definitely be interested” in a move to MLS.
“Gareth Bale is someone we’ve been linked with and of course he’s an exceptional player,” said McDonough. “I just can’t always comment on every rumor, whether the rumors are true or not true. I just can’t talk because I’ll always be answering rumors and it just gets old. He’s an exceptional player. A lot of players that we’re linked to are exceptional players.”
“We have a couple of roster spots open, so anything that’s good for the club and if we think that they’re a good fit for us and they align with our goals and our vision and motivations, then we’ll have conversations with those people.”
McDonough also talked about Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, who was linked with Inter Miami in recent days after he reposted, and then deleted, an image of himself with the team’s logo in the background on his Instagram account.
The Inter Miami executive labeled it as “a rumor” when pressed on the talk, but spoke highly of Vidal.
“He’s a top player,” said McDonough. “He’s a very well established player, but we get linked with so many players and it hasn’t stopped through this situation. As opportunities and as players get presented to us, we just continue to address them. Some of them are just strictly rumors, some of them are interested, but they may not line up with our goals or financial evaluation.”
“There’s so many rumors and I have to address rumors all the time. It’s great that a lot of people are linked with Miami, but we’re just looking for the right couple of pieces here to finish it off.”
How Inter Miami does that is currently a mystery. McDonough stated that there is still too much uncertainty regarding the transfer window because of the current situation, but added that he believes that the price tags on players will not remain the same.
“I think it’s going to be very interesting, the economic impact of the transfer markets,” said McDonough. “I think all clubs have suffered significant losses. In certain parts of the world, the losses are more significant, so I think it’s going to be very, very interesting.
“I think there will be a transfer market, but I think the transfer evaluations on players will probably change going forward.”