Major League Soccer’s investigation into Inter Miami’s signing of Blaise Matuidi is ongoing, but Phil Neville is not drowning himself in worry over it.
At least that was the head coach’s message on Monday.
Inter Miami officially began preseason preparations on Monday morning, but one of the main talking points regarding the Herons as they started to gear up for their second campaign was the league’s review into the 2020 acquisition of Matuidi. MLS announced rather surprisingly last Friday morning that it was beginning an investigation into the signing of the Frenchman, primarily to see if Inter Miami followed established financial rules and regulations.
No determination has yet been made, but Neville said he was not overly concerned with the matter.
“People above me have been really strong and said, ‘Look we will sort this problem out,'” said Neville. “There is obviously conversations and dialogue and a process with the league that is ongoing at this moment and time. My focus is obviously just with the team, to prepare the team for preseason. We have the best people, (sporting director Chris Henderson) and obviously ownership that are speaking daily with the league to sort this problem out.
“… Ultimately, over the next probably 5-7 days, this will be sorted out between the league and the management above me. It is not something I have been told I need to worry about.”
As for Matuidi’s current state regarding the situation, Neville and a pair of the midfielder’s teammates all said Monday that the World Cup winner was doing perfectly fine at the start of preseason camp.
“What I do know is that Blaise is in here training every day, working hard, a smile on his face, just like normal Blaise Matuidi,” said winger Lewis Morgan. “He is professional and he is taking everything in his stride. Obviously as a team we are hoping it gets resolved, but I do not think there are many players that are probably too knowledgable about everything going on.”
morgan HOPING TO PRODUCE MORE GOALS, ASSISTS IN 2021
Inter Miami gave Morgan a new contract on Monday. He is hoping to give them increased production in the final third in return.
The Herons and Morgan agreed to a new deal on Monday morning that made the Scot a Targeted Allocation Money signing. The decision from Inter Miami to give Morgan a more lucrative contract that runs through 2023 with a team option for 2024 came as a result of the organization wanting to lock up his services for the foreseeable future while also rewarding him for his strong season in 2020.
The 24-year-old attacker not only started in each of the South Florida side’s 24 games (regular season and playoffs) during the expansion campaign, but also produced five goals and eight assists. Both totals were team bests, and yet Inter Miami still thinks he can up those numbers and his overall play in the upcoming 34-match season.
“What I would say is I think there is still another five, 10, 15 percent to come from Lewis from what I saw last year in terms of assists and in terms of goals,” said Neville. “I think there is more to come so I think I am really excited to see his development over the next few years with Inter Miami.”
Morgan, who said Monday that contract talks began at the beginning of the offseason, is in agreement with the notion that he can do more in the final third. In fact, it is one of his goals for 2021.
“I want to get double-figure goals, double-figure assists,” said Morgan. “This season is no different, but I want to be part of a winning team and I think we are going to build that culture here. It is all well and good having a good year individually, but it is more important that the team performs and if I am playing as part of a team that is doing well then just naturally my game will raise as well.”
Here are other news and notes:
- Neville said recent signings Ryan Shawcross and Gregore are still sorting out their visa situations.
- The Inter Miami manager added that there are “a couple injuries” in the team right now, but did not provide more details beyond that.
- Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender was called up on Monday to the Under-23 U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Mexico for Olympic Qualifying. Callender replaced Jonathan Klinsmann on the U.S. squad.
- CF Montreal will be sharing Inter Miami CF Training Facility and Stadium with the Herons at the start of this season. The Canadian side will call the South Florida center home to begin 2021 due to the ongoing restrictions that exist between the United States and Canada.