Transfer Deadline Shocker: Gregore Out, Miami’s Future Uncertain

Inter Miami Offloads Gregore to Botafogo in Cap Compliance Move

Miami, FL – Inter Miami is finalizing a transfer of midfielder Gregore to Brazilian club Botafogo, a move necessary to comply with MLS salary cap regulations. The deal, estimated at $2.8 million, was first reported by Globo and confirmed by The Athletic.

Clearing Cap Space:

This trade comes after reports that Miami needed to shed salary or acquire allocation money before the roster compliance deadline on Tuesday. Removing Gregore’s significant salary charge frees up valuable cap space for the Herons. Notably, he was a designated player last season, further impacting the cap.

Financial Maneuvering:

Miami can convert part of the transfer fee into allocation money, a crucial boost for their cap health. This allows them to potentially designate another player without needing allocation funds to buy down their cap hit. Additionally, Miami still retains its one-time contract buyout option for another potential salary cap adjustment.

On-Field Trade-Off:

While shedding Gregore improves their financial standing, it also weakens their on-field presence. He served as a key player and even captained the team before Lionel Messi’s arrival. He established himself as one of the league’s better defensive midfielders, making 67 appearances (excluding most of 2023 due to injury).

Unveiling the Cap Picture:

While specific 2024 roster rules are yet to be announced, the previous year’s $5.21 million salary budget serves as a reference. Designated players like Gregory hit the cap at a fixed charge, independent of their actual salary. This budget is expected to rise by the league’s collective bargaining agreement.

Allocation Money Dynamics:

Allocation money (GAM and TAM) allows teams to “buy down” contracts exceeding the maximum budget charge. Miami had 10 such players in 2023, including 3 DPs (Messi, Busquets, and Gregory). With Gregore’s departure, that number reduces to 7 (including transfers of Josef Martinez and Leandro Gonzalez Pirez). Additionally, transfer fees contribute to salary budget charges, requiring potential further buy-downs with allocation money.

Midfield Glut and Future Acquisitions:

Despite losing Gregore, Miami retains a deep midfield with Sergio Busquets, Julian Gressel, Diego Gomez, Jean Mota, Ben Cremaschi, and David Ruiz. They are also finalizing the signing of Argentine youth international Federico Redondo.

Miami’s transfer of Gregore reflects the financial realities of an MLS salary cap system. While it improves their cap health, it comes at the cost of losing a valuable on-field contributor. The team’s midfield depth and upcoming acquisition of Redondo suggest they are prepared to move forward with a slightly altered tactical approach.

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