DAVID Beckham’s Inter Miami violated MLS budget rules to sign World Cup winner Blaise Matuidi, an investigation has confirmed.
The 34-year-old Frenchman signed for the American outfit back in August but was not confirmed to be one of the three allocated high-priced players that the league permits each club and was instead classified as a ‘target allocation money’ player (TAM).
Matias Pellegrini, Rodolfo Pizarro and Gonzalo Higuain were the three ‘designated’ high-priced players in the 2020 Inter Miami squad, meaning Beckham’s side needed to think creatively in order to get Matuidi on board.
They did so by buying Pellegrini out of his contract in order to get back in compliance with the rules.
And the league said Pellegrini is being loaned to Fort Lauderdale – the affiliate of Miami in the third tier United Soccer League’s League One.
“Matuidi’s compensation was above the compensation limit for a TAM player and he should have been classified as a designated player,” the MLS said in a statement.
“As a result, Inter Miami violated the designated player limit as the team had three designated players in addition to Matuidi during 2020.”
Designated players wages do not contribute to the MLS salary cap.
Matuidi has now been selected as a designated player for the 2021 season after the buying out of Pellegrini’s contract and subsequent loan deal to Fort Lauderdale.
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Beckham is Miami’s co-owner and president of the club’s ‘soccer operations’.
The team finished 10th out of 14 teams in the Eastern Conference last season with seven wins, 13 losses and three draws.
They then went on to lose 3-0 to Nashville in the first round of the play-offs.
Former England women’s national team coach Phil Neville has taken over as manager of the club for the start of the 2021 campaign.
Miami begin their second season in the MLS on Sunday when they play host to Beckham’s former side LA Galaxy.
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David Beckham thinks Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will be drawn to Inter Miami