Inter Miami is finalizing a deal to sign Juventus midfielder Blaise Matuidi, according to Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta Dello Sport. Sky Sports’ Fabrizio Romano reported Monday morning that it was a done deal, pending Matuidi’s medical exams.
If the deal goes through, South Florida soccer fans would get the world-class, attacking player Inter Miami owners David Beckham and Jorge Mas have been promising. Matuidi has 5.4 million Instagram followers, so news of his impending move was trending worldwide on Monday.
Matuidi, 33, joined Italian giant Juventus in 2017 for a $27 million transfer fee after six years with Paris Saint Germain. He played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo on Juventus’ Serie A championship team this season and spent the past decade with the French national team. He played in the 2014 World Cup and helped lead France to the 2018 World Cup championship. He also has extensive Champions League experience.
Matuidi and Beckham were PSG teammates in 2013.
He is known for his work-rate, strength, defense, ball-winning and ability to work in tight spaces in the midfield. He has played multiple positions in the midfield during his career.
Matuidi has one year left on his contract, but, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport, Juventus is willing to part with him and other older players such as 33-year-old Sami Khedira and 32-year-old Gonzalo Higuain because newly-hired coach Andrea Pirlo wants to go with a youth movement. Brazilian winger Douglas Costa could also be on his way out.
Pirlo was hired on Friday to replace Maurizio Sarri, who was fired less than 24 hours after the team was eliminated from the Champions League by underdog Lyon in the Round of 16.
Matuidi played 35 games for Juventus this season, had no goals and two assists. He was in the starting lineup for more than half those games. His current market value is said to be between $11-$12 million.
The Major League Soccer transfer window opens on Wednesday. Inter Miami chief operating officer Paul McDonough has said he hoped to sign one or two “significant” players before the team resumes its regular season on Aug. 22 at home against Orlando City. Inter Miami is winless through its first five games, with all the losses by a single goal.