Inter Miami coach Diego Alonso believes the arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín will help David Beckham’s new Major League Soccer franchise move to the next level.
Alonso said Friday that the former Juventus and Real Madrid striker is undergoing physical tests and needs to finalise terms before completing his move to the United States.
Higuaín is set to follow French World Cup winner and former Juve teammate Blaise Matuidi to South Florida, with Alonso confident their presence will help the younger players develop while boosting the quality of a squad which has struggled to make an impact in their debut season.
"The arrival of experience has a positive impact on the team, first because of the quality because it helps improve the level and also it impacts the young players and helps them to develop," Alonso told AFP.
"It is a double benefit. We have seen it with Matuidi and if we are able to finish the signing of Gonzalo, they will both be able to benefit us in these ways."
Higuaín, who will take Inter Miami’s third Designated Player spot following Mexican international Rodolfo Pizarro and young Argentina forward Matías Pellegrini, was greeted upon arrival in the United States by Inter Miami co-owner Jorge Mas, who took to Twitter to announce his delight at the signing of the 32-year-old former Albiceleste international.
"A warm welcome to Gonzalo Higuaín, a world class striker and champion," Mas wrote above a photo of the pair at the airport.
With Higuaín also required to quarantine for at least 10 days, the most likely date for his debut will be on September 23 when the New York Red Bulls travel to South Florida.
"Gonzalo is in South Florida," Alonso said. "He is having his medical exams and is in the final stages of negotiations. We hope we can close the agreement and he can be with us soon."
Higuaín has spent the past four years at Juventus, but was loaned to AC Milan in 2018-2019. He also spent part of the 2019 season at Chelsea before returning to Juve. He played in three World Cups for Argentina and scored 31 goals in 75 international appearances.
Inter Miami, who are part-owned by former England and Manchester United star Beckham, have won just two out of 10 since making their debut earlier this year, scoring only eight times in the process.
Losing their first five games ensured Alonso's team made the worst-ever start to a season by a new franchise, although four points from their last two matches, including a vital win over Atlanta earlier this week, has boosted morale.
Higuaín's expected move comes after the acquisition of France World Cup winner Matuidi, who has noticeably bolstered midfield in his two appearances so far.
The Argentine's arrival also means he will be playing in MLS alongside his elder brother Federico, who plays for DC United.