'A lot of players want to come here' - Inter Miami address James Rodriguez links

James Rodriguez Real Madrid 2019-20Getty Images

Inter Miami COO and sporting director Paul McDonough says that the club is still very much looking to bring a major signing to the club amid links to James Rodriguez, but the first-year side is prioritising fit over star power going forward.

In recent weeks, Inter Miami owner David Beckham has been in contact with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to explore the possibility of signing the Colombian, although there is no firm offer just yet.

Miami has been on the hunt for a big-name signing for some time, having brought in Mexican international Rodolfo Pizarro and Argentine youngster Matias Pellegrini with two of the team's three Designated Player slots.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has put those plans on hold, with the summer transfer market likely to be greatly impacted for clubs all over the world. 

But McDonough says that the search is still on, although he wouldn't confirm nor deny links to the Real Madrid and Colombia star.

“I’ve been very upfront and honest that I still have an intention and I hoped to sign two more significant players before the pandemic — one being a [Designated Player] and one being a max TAM guy,” McDonough said on an episode of the podcast OnSide.

“We get linked with a lot of players. A lot of players want to come here, which is great. But I think it’s more than just getting big-name players. They have to have to want to come here for the right reason.

"When I'm with a club, I don't think about one year but three or four years. When I'm with a club, I don't want to hamstring the club with a world-class player now and we may not appreciate his contract in three or four years."

Prior to taking on the task of constructing Inter Miami's roster, McDonough helped build Atlanta United's squad, serving as the Five Stripes' vice president of soccer operations.

During his time in Atlanta, the club signed Miguel Almiron, who commanded a record-breaking transfer fee when he was sold to Newcastle in January 2019.

In addition, the club brought in players like Josef Martinez, Tito Villalba and Ezequiel Barco, as Atlanta focused on bringing in younger players with promise rather than big-name stars.

While the market in Miami is certainly different than in Atlanta, McDonough believes that he is searching more for the right fit than anything else while hinting that the club could look back towards South America for signings going forward.

“I like the model of what we did in Atlanta United,” McDonough said. “It doesn’t say I wouldn’t go get a senior Designated Player that’s a global star, but the economics need to make sense, their motivations have to be right, they have to come here and be a leader.

"Players want that intermediate step to come here, adapt outside of Argentina or other places in South American — but mainly Argentina. And then have the opportunity to jump to Europe.”

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