MIAMI, Fla. (January 31, 2020) –
Inter Miami CF announced Thursday it has signed Argentine center back Jorge Nicolás Figal via transfer from Club Atlético Independiente in the Superliga Argentina. The experienced 25-year-old from Buenos Aires, who was called up to the Argentine senior national team last year, adds to a growing contingent of Argentine internationals on the inaugural Inter Miami roster. (Inter Miami has yet to sign any Brazilian players.)
The transaction was made possible through the use of targeted allocation money (“TAM”). The transfer fee was not disclosed. Transfermarkt.com lists Figal’s market value as being $6.84 million. According to Argentine press, the transfer fee is $3 million and could rise based on performance, and a 50 % sell on clause. Independiente will receive the other 50%, thinking that Inter Miami may sell Figal in the future.
“Nico is just entering his prime as a player and has already shown impressive skill in defense,” said Inter Miami Sporting Director Paul McDonough. “He showed his quality playing in Argentina, winning important international competitions and being selected as one of the best defenders of his country. We’re happy to be able to bring him in and continue to sure up our backline.”
Figal has spent the majority of his career with Independiente, making his professional debut for the club at 19 years old. His first senior appearance came in a match against Club Atlético Gimnasia y Esgrima in 2014. He helped guide the club to promotion to the first division that season where they have remained since.
Figal made 104 total appearances for Independiente, leading the team to the prestigious 2017 Copa Sudamericana and the 2018 Suruga Bank Championship titles. While in Argentina, Figal faced new teammates Julián Carranza and Matías Pellegrini: On February 9, 2018 he faced Pellegrini, who scored in a 2-2 draw; on December 6, 2019, with Carranza’s Club Atlético Banfield earning a 1-0 victory.
During the 2019-20 season, Figal appeared and started in 14 of Independiente’s 17 matches played thus far. (He was not in the squad for matches on Oct. 6, Jan. 20, and Jan. 27.) He had one goal and three assists despite his defensive positioning. His versatility has also seen him feature as a right back for Independiente.
The defender spent part of the 2015-16 season on loan at Club Olimpo, also in the Superliga Argentina. He made 15 appearances for the team and scored one goal.
In September 2019, Figal received two senior call-ups for the Argentine national team for friendlies against Chile and Mexico, though he did not play in those matches.