Inter Miami's signing of Blaise Matuidi became official on Thursday, but it comes with an intriguing wrinkle: the French World Cup winner won't be a Designated Player.
Matuidi, whose contract with Juventus was terminated on Wednesday, joins the club and was signed using Targeted Allocation Money, a mechanism used to pay down the budget charge of players who are in a higher salary range but not DPs. That Matuidi was able to be acquired on a free transfer kept Miami from having to use its third and final DP spot on him, which keeps open the possibility of another star signing to go along with Mexico's Rodolfo Pizarro and young Argentine Matias Pellegrini.
“I couldn’t be happier to welcome my friend Blaise to Inter Miami. He is an exciting and gifted player and a great person,” Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham, who teamed with Matuidi at PSG, said in a statement. “To have a World Cup winner of Blaise’s quality in our new team is such a proud moment–for us as owners and for our fans. For me personally, to have a former teammate joining our club is very special and I can’t wait to welcome him and his beautiful family to South Florida.”
Matuidi is the most accomplished player on Miami's roster, having won four Ligue 1 titles, three Serie A crowns and the 2018 World Cup. He has 84 caps with France, scoring nine goals and assisting on 10 more on the international stage.
“Blaise is one of the most successful midfielders of his generation and we’re thrilled to have him at Inter Miami,” Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said. “His world-class quality and leadership will be key attributes for the club.”
Inter Miami could use the injection of positivity after becoming the first MLS expansion club to begin with five consecutive losses. Three came at the MLS Is Back tournament, where Miami lost all three of its group games by 1-0 scorelines.
The club will play its first home match on Aug. 22 against MLS Is Back finalist Orlando City, the first team it fell to at the tournament.