Inter Miami chief coy on Gareth Bale, Arturo Vidal links

Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said his team remains in the market for two more players, even as he sidestepped links to players such as Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal and Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale.

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MLS has been shut down since March 12, and since then the league's primary transfer window -- which was set to close on May 5 -- had been "on hold" according to a report on the league's web site. The lost days will be added back once the window reopens, but that hasn't prevented McDonough from trying to improve his side, who noted that he's in regular contact with owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham.

"We're evaluating everything as we go. We're looking," he said during a video conference with reporters. "Whether we add players this summer, or even ready for next January, we're constantly evaluating and looking at players and trying to see how we can strengthen the team."

Vidal, 32, put up and then removed an Instagram post with an Inter Miami logo several days ago, increasing speculation that he was at least pondering a move to the team. But McDonough characterized the link as "a rumor."

"He's top player, he's a very well-established player," McDonough said about Vidal. "But we get linked with so many players, and it hasn't stopped through this situation. As opportunities and as players get presented to us, we just continue to address them. Some of them are just strictly rumors. Some of them are interest but they may not line up with our goals or financial valuation."

The Inter Miami executive had similar thoughts on Bale, befor adding: "He's an exceptional player." But he quickly expanded his thoughts to what the next transfer window will bring in terms of valuations.

"I think it's going to be very interesting, the economic impact on the transfer markets," he said. "I think all clubs have suffered some significant losses. In certain parts of the world the losses are more significant. So I think it's going to be very, very interesting. I think there will be a transfer market, but I think the transfer valuations on players will probably change going forward."

Bale had previously expressed interest in MLS, saying last week that "It's grown so much over the years." Bale's teammate James Rodriguez is another player that has been linked with Miami.

One player whose link to Inter Miami appeared more solid was Boca Juniors midfielder Agustin Almendra. A loan deal appeared set to be finalized as the season started, but McDonough said that while Miami had conversations with Boca about the player, the pandemic has led to the deal being "on pause" while adding he'll know more "when we come out with this [pandemic] and [see] what shape everybody's in and what the appetite is for us to do it, and the availability of other players in the market."

Wednesday marked the first time that Miami players had trained at the team's practice facility since the league announced a training moratorium back in March. While the players were limited to individual workouts, the sessions marked a small step forward towards getting back to playing. Still, there's a long way to go.

"Today's a day where we're happy that we're able to get the guys back on site in a carefully devised plan with MLS and local authorities to start individual training," McDonough said. "So we're looking forward to continuing to see the guys and get their fitness levels up and see where the next stage takes us."