DAVID BECKHAM has received a huge Inter Miami transfer boost after finally offloading high-earning French World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi on a free transfer.
Sporting director Chris Henderson refused to give much away on Monday about the 34 year-old’s future and would only say talks with his agent remain on-going.
But SunSport understands former Juventus midfielder Matuidi will leave the MLS club shortly and crucially open up a slot for another big hitter to come to south Florida.
While Miami sources have denied Luis Suarez could arrive this summer after his deal at Atletico Madrid expires at the end of the season, with Matuidi gone at least Becks has space in the squad to do some more business.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain targets even if the former England skipper will have to wait his turn.
Clubs here can only have three top earners – Designated Players (DP's) – and although Mexican international Rodlofo Pizarro was sent back to Monterrey recently, because his loan fee and wages aren’t being taken on fully, Neville was unable to replace him with a new superstar.
Yet with Matuidi cutting ties with Miami for good, Nev and Becks can now get to work and bring in a big name to try and improve on last season’s disappointing campaign.
The former Juventus man was a disaster in MLS – his transfer in the summer of 2020 contravened strict League financial guidelines which saw the club whacked with debilitating transfer sanctions for the next two years.
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A disastrous deal hatched under the watch of former sporting director Paul McDonough saw Miami pay Matuidi well over the odds for a non-DP player.
That led to a lengthy probe by furious MLS bosses who not only banned McDonough but also fined the club a whopping $2million [£1.47m].
Co-owner Jorge Mas was also hit with a $250,000 [£183k] penalty.
Transfer chief Henderson, however, has worked wonders by cutting the squad dramatically in recent weeks with the likes of Scottish winger Lewis Morgan, Argentine defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez and Pizarro all leaving.
Ryan Shawcross, the former Stoke defender, is also off the books after being told he wasn't part of Neville's plans.
But Nev, who has already brought in a raft of young, hungry players including son Harvey and Brazilian playmaker Jean Mota, has been desperate to get rid of Matuidi.
Matuidi failed to replicate the form which saw him start the World Cup final against Croatia in 2018 and will now work on further bolstering a fresh, new-look team ahead of the season opener next month.
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