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Paul McDonough addresses report linking Real Madrid star James Rodriguez to Inter Miami CF

Khobi Price, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Soccer

The suspension of Inter Miami CF's inaugural season hasn't stopped the team from being tied to some of the biggest names in soccer.

The Major League Soccer expansion club has reportedly been linked to Real Madrid star James Rodriguez, with international soccer website Goal.com reporting that David Beckham, Inter Miami owner and president of soccer operations, has been in contact with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez to discuss the possibility of signing Rodriguez.

Beckham's relationship with Perez dates back to when Beckham transferred to Real Madrid in the summer of 2003 during the club's "Galacticos" era after spending the first 11 years of his career with Manchester United.

Paul McDonough, Inter Miami sporting director and COO, was asked about the report during a recent episode of OnSide, the club's weekly show on its website. He said that the team has continued to search for two more high-level players, even during the stoppage.

"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)," McDonough said. "We get linked with a lot of players. A lot of players want to come here, which is great. But it's more than getting big-name players. They have to have to want to come here for the right reason."

Rodriguez, who'll be entering the final year of his contract with Real Madrid in the summer, won the Golden Boot in the 2014 FIFA World Cup and scored 13 goals in 29 appearances during the 2014-15 season, his first year with Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old Colombian attacking midfielder spent the 2017-19 seasons on loan at Bayern Munich and wasn't prominently featured after returning to Real Madrid, scoring 1 goal in 7 appearances during the 2019-20 season.

"When I get with clubs, I always think about not just one year, but I think about 3-4 years," McDonough said. "I like the model of what we did in Atlanta United, but it doesn't say I wouldn't get a senior player who's a global star."

 

The novel coronavirus pandemic has made the search for players more difficult. MLS's primary transfer window, which was set to run through Tuesday, has been on hold since the league suspended the season March 12, according to MLSsoccer.com.

The report says no trades or signings can be processed by MLS clubs currently and the lost days from the transfer window will be added back when the transfer market is safe to re-open. The secondary transfer window was set to open July 7.

During a conversation with Taylor Twellman on ESPNFC, Inter Miami goalkeeper and captain Luis Robles said he believes Rodolfo Pizarro, the club's second designated-player signing, is going to be "one of the best players in this league this season and for years to come" while acknowledging he'll need more help if the team is going to be successful.

"As we're trying to figure out our identity, as we're trying to figure out what sort of team we can be, we still need more pieces," Robles said. "I think (Pizarro is) going to be one of the, if not the most important player for us, but we still have to figure out how do we add pieces and continue to adapt to his abilities to really bring it forth."

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