Inter Miami has players on board at last.
The 2020 MLS expansion team signed Argentine rising star Matias Pellegrini from Estudiantes as the club's first player, before subsequently adding a second 19-year-old Argentine attacker in Julian Carranza from Banfield. Pellegrini joins as a young Designated Player and cost a reported transfer fee of $10 million, making him one of the most expensive purchases in league history. He'll reportedly remain with his club in Argentina through the winter before reporting to Inter Miami for its first preseason in January 2020. Estudiantes released a statement recently announcing the impending move, which Inter Miami revealed on Friday.
"The club Estudiantes de La Plata has learned that player Matias Pellegrini passed his medical exams with Inter Miami and returned to his country (to continue the season)," the club said. "The player traveled to the United States with our team official Diego Ronderos, passed the tests, and now awaits the final details for his transfer to MLS."
Pellegrini scored three goals in 15 games for Estudiantes last season, and he scored two more in his most recent matches in Copa de la Superliga in April and Copa Argentina this month. Carranza, meanwhile, has scored eight goals in 29 league apperances in the last two seasons, in addition to two more in three cup games for Banfield. Both are part of the Argentina youth set-up and become the latest in a long line of Argentine playmaking talents making their way to MLS.
“It’s important for us that we found young, exciting attacking players that are on the upside of their career and have the potential to be really good players in this league,” Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said in a statement. “We will continue to build and add quality players that are the right fit for our club. We started with youth, but we know it’s also important to have veteran players who come from both overseas and within the league to balance out the roster over time.
“Both Julián and Matías showed us they really wanted to take the next step of their career with Inter Miami CF. We liked that Pellegrini can play inside and out wide, has very good aerobic capacity and can cover a lot of ground, while Julián is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He’s the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box.”
Inter Miami is behind the ball when it comes to staff and roster progress in comparison with its fellow expansion teams. Nashville SC–which, to be fair, already exists in USL form–has said it will retain manager Gary Smith on its move to MLS next year and already has four players signed: Forwards Daniel Rios and Cameron Lancaster, winger David Accam and midfielder Derrick Jones. Austin FC, meanwhile, doesn't start play until 2021 but already hired its manager, with current U.S. men's national team assistant coach Josh Wolff set to take the reins at the end of the year.