Inter Miami CF

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Gattuso linked with move to Inter… Miami (of course)

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Gennaro Gattuso’s next gig could be with Inter… Miami.

The 41-year-old “Rino” may take the reins at expansion club Inter Miami CF under owner David Beckham after leaving AC Milan at the end of last season.

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Known for his bulldog midfield presence and heart-on-sleeve sideline management, Gattuso would fit the bill of what Inter Miami says it’s seeking from its first head coach.

From The Miami Herald:

Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas said last week that the team was “very close” to naming its first head coach, and that it would be “someone you’re going to know who has coached before at the highest level and who has played at the highest level.”

Gattuso was linked with the open Newcastle United job, but it’s worth noting that there is a heavy Italian and even Milan presence in South Florida. Alessandro Nesta coached at Miami FC, and Paolo Maldini owned the current NPSL club.

The club added its third player on Tuesday, announcing the signing of Venezuelan standout Christian Makoun. The 19-year-old defender spent last season on loan with Juventus’ U-23 side.

Miami had already signed as a Matias Pelegrini as a Designated Player and Julian Carranza. Both Argentine playmakers are on loan ahead of their MLS debut in 2020.

Bale leaving Real Madrid; Where to?

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Gareth Bale is not going to play for Real Madrid this season. The jersey he will pull onto his body remains a mystery.

Real manager Zinedine Zidane said that “it’d be better” for the club and player if he was sold tomorrow, claiming it’s nothing personal but that Bale is simply not in his plans.

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Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett poured gasoline on those comments by blasting the French legend as “a disgrace,” saying the player and agent are “working on” an exit.

From Marca.com:

“Zidane is a disgrace,” Barnett told AFP. “He shows no respect for a player that has done so much for Real Madrid.”

Obviously it’s far from disgraceful for Zidane to publicly admit that a massive player and personality may no longer fit the bill, and Barnett’s harsh words are more than agent talk: He wants a higher fee than will come from Real saying, “He’s 10000000000% available.”

Barnett does represent Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw, and there are so many reasons to think the Welshman could move to Manchester United. A return to Spurs is obviously romantic, but the club’s wage structure would be a concern to deeming this a fit.

Bale wasn’t fantastic last season, posting eight goals and three assists in under 1800 La Liga minutes and adding three goals and two assists in under 500 Champions League minutes (In fact, he was the 14th ranked player in UCL advanced stats according to Who Scored).

He is not far removed from monster campaigns with Real, and it’s no surprise that his production would drop off in a world without Cristiano Ronaldo around him (and vice versa, to a lesser degree).

There are a lot of reasons to wonder whether Mauricio Pochettino and Daniel Levy would consider what it takes to bring Bale to town. It would instantly and realistically elevate the discussion about whether Spurs could seriously rival Liverpool and Man City for a Premier League title while adding Champions League mettle as well.

The idea of Bale playing with Harry Kane the way he worked with Ronaldo and Karim Benzema is electric, though the prospective move took a hit by Zidane’s lack of love for Christian Eriksen.

Bayern Munich is another potential avenue for Bale, as is the Chinese Super League.

But we wonder if the 30-year-old would sign up for massive David Beckham wages at Inter Miami with a loan to a Champions League side for a season ahead of the Super Becks’ opening campaign in MLS. What better way to engender some fan interest amongst Floridians and Manchester United fans than a nice loan? We’re sure Zlatan brought some Red Devils’ eyes to LA, for what it’s worth. Spurs would work here, too, as would any side hopeful of expanding their American imprint.

Maybe Bale isn’t ready for that step. He’d surely prefer adding to his four Champions League titles and probably likes the idea of doing some bigger things for Wales, but there’s a lot of dough in America and really it’s not going to cost him his place with the Welsh side (though concerns about competition would be legit).

Inter Miami refutes report claiming Beckham selling MLS club shares

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After all the delays, obstacles, and promise, David Beckham may not wind up overseeing a minute of Inter Miami CF.

Yes, really.

A report from Cristian Rivas of AS says the Manchester United legend is selling his shares of his expansion club, which is set to begin play in 2020 (from US.AS.com).

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Inter Miami CF has denied the report to several outlets, including intrepid MLS reporter Paul Tenorio.

Beckham’s MLS contract allowed him the option of starting a club at the end of his playing career, and he opted for South Beach.

But the English midfielder watched as stadium sites, lawsuits, and myriad issues got in the way of his project, which led to questions of “Will this ever happen?” and multiple public announcements.

It wasn’t all negative, as speculators salivated over the megastars expected to play for “Beckham United.”

According to the report, current IMCF partners Jorge and Jose Mas Santos will purchase Beckham’s shares. Nutty. If true, this report would be a face palm for the executives of Major League Soccer, who backed Becks at every turn (though maybe they knew, too).

And if it happens, maybe this was always Beckham’s plan. It would’ve been foolish for the entrepreneur to turn down the rights to his own team, and staying behind the brand this long certainly aided in the group’s growth.

But how will players and fans react in a market which has certainly had its problems growing, and has been rivaled by a number of upstart teams?

Perhaps it’s all foolhardly speculation, and a reporter was given bad information. Let’s hope so, for the good of Miami having a successful team.

Report: Inter Miami makes huge offer to Luis Suarez

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A Catalan radio station has David Beckham swinging for the fences with one of his first Designated Player signings at Inter Miami.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has been offered a rich 4-year deal by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker, whose club is set to debut in 2020.

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Suarez will turn 33 during next season, prior to the start of Major League Soccer’s campaign. He has scored 25 or more goals in each of his last seven seasons, the last five spent with Barcelona after a 30- and 31-goal campaigns with Liverpool.

Seeing what Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doing with the LA Galaxy shows that aging elite strikers can still terrorize MLS (and many other leagues). The Uruguayan has been durable, too, making 40-plus appearances in each of his seasons with Barca.

Fort Lauderdale says Beckham can demolish Lockhart Stadium, build anew

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) David Beckham’s planned Major League Soccer stadium in South Florida is another step closer to reality.

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The Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted Tuesday night to enter into an interim agreement with Beckham’s group, one that will allow the MLS club to demolish Lockhart Stadium as a precursor to building a stadium of its own on that plot of land.

Mayor Dean Trantalis suggested to the commission that the agreement should come with financial assurances that the Beckham group will not simply demolish the existing stadium and then walk away from the project without building something in its place. Other commissioners argued that given the extremely tight timeline – Beckham’s group wants to begin play there in less than a year – the project must be permitted to start as soon as possible.

The vote was unanimous, 5-0. Beckham’s group will have 180 days to complete the demolition.

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Beckham’s group – his team is called Inter Miami – plans to have a stadium in place on the Lockhart site in time to begin an inaugural MLS season in March 2020. Beckham has unsuccessfully tried for years to find a place to put a stadium in Miami, which is why his group announced plans last month to play its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale.

Beckham’s team also plans to use the Lockhart site as its training center, a home for its team in the lower-tier United Soccer League and its academy programs.

The current Lockhart Stadium opened in 1959 and was the home of more than a half-dozen soccer teams, including the North American Soccer League’s Fort Lauderdale Strikers from 1977-83 and MLS’s Miami Fusion from its launch in 1998 until the team was eliminated by the league after the 2001 season.