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NYCFC claim winger Matías Pellegrini off waivers...again

After declining Pellegrini’s option in November the club negotiate a new contract with the 22-year-old, sign a player for free who reportedly commanded a $9 million fee in 2019

MLS: New York City FC at Charlotte FC
Together again.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC claimed winger Matías Pellegrini off waivers for the second time this year.

The 22-year-old left winger was first claimed off waivers in August, when the former Inter Miami midfielder was playing for Estudiantes de la Plata in his native Argentina. He joined the Senior Team immediately, and while he featured in only four games and played for just 59 minutes total, head coach Nick Cushing spoke highly of his technical ability and work rate.

In November, NYCFC announced that they declined the option for Pellegrini, as well as those for Vuk Latinovich and Gedion Zelalem. It was thought at the time that it was hard to justify Pellegrini’s guaranteed salary of $970,833, which was the third-highest in the club among active players. While the statement issued by NYCFC makes no mention of a renegotiated salary, it is thought that Pellegrini will make less in 2023.

Pellegrini is a highly-rated player who has yet to realize his potential. Born in Magdalena, Argentina, in 2000, Pellegrini started his professional career with Estudiantes in 2018, then moved to Inter Miami the following year for a reported fee of between $6 million and $9 million. Inter Miami was forced to buy out his contract in 2021 to be in compliance with the MLS salary cap, and the club loaned him back to Estudiantes. Once the terms of that loan lapsed last year, Pellegrini was officially out of contract — and was claimed off waivers by NYCFC.

Welcome back, Matías. It’s as if you never left.