Last night, the rumor mill turned out a welcome piece of news: Matías Pellegrini, a pacey 22-year-old left-winger under contract with Inter Miami but who is currently loaned out to Estudiantes de la Plata in Argentina, might soon join New York City FC.
Journalist César Luis Merlo was the first to announce the rumor, tweeting that “there is already an agreement with Inter Miami and in the next few days he will travel to undergo a medical examination and sign the contract.”
[EXCLUSIVO] Matías Pellegrini jugará en el New York City de la MLS.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 18, 2022
*️⃣Ya hay acuerdo con el Inter Miami y en los próximos días viajará para someterse a la revisión médica y firmar contrato.
*️⃣Llega después de un muy buen paso por Estudiantes. #TratoHecho pic.twitter.com/TGYrcrdjjm
Tom Bogart, MLS.com journo and third runner-up in Kroger’s annual Tom Selleck Look-Alike Contest, later confirmed the news, tweeting that NYCFC is signing Pellegrini via waivers. Even though the summer transfer window closed earlier this month, MLS teams are allowed to sign free agents until the MLS Roster Freeze Date on September 2.
Source confirms @CLMerlo's scoop: Matias Pellegrini heading to NYCFC from Inter Miami. I'm told it's technically via Waivers.— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) August 18, 2022
Pellegrini, 22, was first signing in Miami's history, loaned to Estudiantes last year after being "bought out" ahead of 2021 season b/c too many DPs. pic.twitter.com/hgsQlrrpqQ
If true, this could prove to be a shrewd and opportunistic signing for NYCFC. The club didn’t make any acquisitions in the summer transfer window despite desperately needing to jump-start an attack that has been severely diminished since the departure of Taty Castellanos for Girona FC.
Pellegrini is an unproven talent, but considered to be a rising star. As Bogart notes in his tweet he was the first signing made by Inter Miami when they paid a reported $8.1 million to Estudiantes in 2019, but he had to be loaned back after it came to light that the club “misunderstood” the roster rules and signed too many Designated Players. Whoopsies. Since then, Miami have added Leonardo Campana (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Alejandro Pozuelo (signed from Toronto FC) to their attack, and seemingly no longer have a need for the winger.
The right-footed Pelligrini featured 10 times for Estudiantes this season, which is still underway. He was in the Starting XI for five leagues games and five Copa Libertadores matches.
Transfermarkt values Pellegrini at $4.4 million, down from the $8.1 million valuation when Miami signed him.
Pellegrini mainly plays on the left as a winger or a midfielder, but he can also slot in as a central attacking midfielder or on the right. He would add much-needed depth to NYCFC’s attack, giving interim head coach Nick Cushing another ingredient as he continues to try to find the right formulation for a talented forward line that is underperforming.
NYCFC and Inter Miami have not yet made any statements about the rumored transaction.