During the massive overhaul at Inter Miami this past summer, Luis Suarez was a name that hovered around DRV PNK Stadium. With Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba linking up with Lionel Messi, the Uruguayan almost joined the FC Barcelona reunion. He even went so far as to offer to pay his current club to let him leave.

Luis Suarez did not join Inter Miami. Instead, he reaffirmed his commitment to Gremio for the remainder of the season. While his contract expires at the end of 2024, he is playing his last campaign with Gremio currently. That reopens the door to Inter Miami.

Club manager Tata Martino says Suarez’s potential arrival at Inter Miami remains an option. While it is not going ‘all-in’ to get Suarez to south Florida, Martino said Inter Miami has a plan with Luis Suarez and a plan without the striker.

Terminating his contract with Gremio would make Suarez a free agent. Therefore, Inter Miami would not have to pay a fee to get the Uruguayan. It similarly acquired Messi, Busquets and Alba at a time when they were not under contract. Yet, this does not answer the problems of wages.

Can Inter Miami afford to bring on Luis Suarez?

Each MLS team can bring on three designated players that can exceed the current budget restraints and the salary cap. For Inter Miami, those are Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Gregore, a 29-year-old Brazilian defensive midfielder who has missed almost the entire campaign with a fractured foot. Notably, Jordi Alba is not one of the designated players. The Spaniard pulls in the fourth-highest salary on Inter Miami at $1.6 million per year. By comparison, Messi earns $54 million per year.

This leaves Inter Miami with two apparent options. It can alleviate Gregore from its designated player spot to bring in Luis Suarez. Or, Luis Suarez can sign a team-friendly contract that keeps Inter Miami’s wages in check. Personal terms will not be hard to come by. The Uruguayan was explicit in his desire to reunite with Messi, Busquets and Alba.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo