Matas Pellegrini, a speedy 22-year-old left-winger under contract with Inter Miami but currently loaned out to Estudiantes de la Plata in Argentina, was rumored to be joining New York City FC last night.
Journalist César Luis Merlo was the first to report the rumor, tweeting that “there is already an agreement with Inter Miami and he will travel to undergo a medical examination and sign the contract in the coming days.”
[EXCLUSIVO] Matas Pellegrini will play for the MLS club New York City. *Agreement has already been reached with Inter Miami, and he will travel in the coming days to undergo medical review and sign a contract. *Comes after a very good walk through the students. pic.twitter.com/TGYrcrdjjm #TratoHecho August 18, 2022 — César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo)
Later, Tom Bogart, an MLS.com reporter and third-place finisher in Kroger’s annual Tom Selleck Look-Alike Contest, confirmed the news, tweeting that NYCFC has signed Pellegrini on waivers. Despite the fact that the summer transfer window closed earlier this month, MLS teams can sign free agents until the MLS Roster Freeze Date on September 2.
The following source confirms @CLMerlo’s scoop: Matias Pellegrini is leaving Inter Miami to join NYCFC. Waivers, according to what I’ve been told. Pellegrini, 22, was Miami’s first signing and was loaned to Estudiantes last year after being “bought out” ahead of the 2021 season due to too many DPs. pic.twitter.com/hgsQlrrpqQ August 18, 2022 — Tom Bogert (@tombogert)
If confirmed, this could be a wise and opportunistic signing for NYCFC. The club made no signings during the summer transfer window, despite desperately needing to bolster an attack that has been severely weakened since Taty Castellanos’ departure to Girona FC.
Pellegrini is an unproven talent who is regarded as a rising star. As Bogart points out in his tweet, he was Inter Miami’s first signing when the club paid a reported $8.1 million to Estudiantes in 2019, but he had to be loaned back after it was discovered that the club “misunderstood” the roster rules and signed too many Designated Players. Whoopsies. Since then, Miami has added Leonardo Campana (on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers) and Alejandro Pozuelo (signed from Toronto FC) to their attack, and it appears that the winger is no longer needed.
Pelligrini, who is left-footed, has appeared 10 times for Estudiantes this season, which is still ongoing. He appeared in five league games and five Copa Libertadores matches.
Pellegrini is valued at $4.4 million on Transfermarkt, down from $8.1 million when he was signed by Miami.
Pellegrini primarily plays on the left as a winger or midfielder, but he can also play on the right or as a central attacking midfielder. 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.
The rumored transaction has yet to be confirmed by either NYCFC or Inter Miami.