It was all the way back in December 2013 that Major League Soccer first admitted the existence of a clause in David Beckham’s contract with the LA Galaxy that entitled him to the purchase of a franchise for just $25 million. That was an option the former midfielder, along with business partner Marcelo Claure and agent Simon Fuller, decided to take and Miami was where they decided to put down roots.
Progress since then has been painfully slow. The Miami Beckham United ownership group was officially awarded an MLS spot in January 2018, with Inter Miami born as a result, but they would have been handed that place even sooner had they not experienced such obstacles in finding a suitable stadium location. Even now, their stadium plan isn’t totally formed, with Beckham’s team set to start play out in Fort Lauderdale before moving into Miami itself.
Inter Miami’s search for a head coach has been nearly as protracted. Speculation has swirled for the best part of a year, with much conjecture linking the Floridian franchise with a number of names recognisable to the average football fan. Some are more inspiring than others, but there will be a lot of meaning attached to Inter Miami’s first managerial appointment.
Gennaro Gattuso has been mentioned as a potential candidate, with the former midfielder out of work since leaving AC Milan at the end of last season. Gattuso would certainly give Inter Miami some star power in the dugout, but some doubt whether the Italian has the temperament to succeed at the top level.
Carlo Ancelotti is another Italian boss who has been linked with a move to South Florida, but getting the 60-year-old out of his Napoli contract midway through the Serie A season would prove difficult, not to mention expensive. Santiago Solari, a former teammate of Beckham’s at Real Madrid, is also thought to be a candidate.
More recently, Chris Coleman has emerged as the frontrunner for the position having recently left Hebei China Fortune. Coleman has suffered a disappointing couple years in the sport after failing at Sunderland before a move out East. Nonetheless, the Welshman would be an impressive hire for a club preparing for its first-ever season.
The success of Atlanta United and Los Angeles FC in recent years have raised the level for what is expected of expansion teams in MLS. These two franchises appointed Tata Martino and Bob Bradley, respectively, as their first-ever managers. That put down a marker and now Inter Miami are attempting to do something similar with their first appointment. With their first competitive game scheduled for March next year, the long and drawn out search will come to an end soon.