Major League Soccer

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez nearing loan return to River Plate from Inter Miami

Chris Smith
After a successful spell in MLS, it might be time for Gonzalez Pirez to return home
After a successful spell in MLS, it might be time for Gonzalez Pirez to return home / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Inter Miami center-back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez looks set to complete a loan move back home to Argentine giants River Plate.

The 29-year-old is a product of the River Plate youth system and made 43 senior appearances for them between 2011 and 2014.

Since leaving, he's played for Tigre and Estudiantes in his homeland before switching to MLS. Gonzalez Pirez won MLS Cup, US Open Cup, and Campeones Cup titles with Atlanta United between 2017 and 2019, later joining Liga MX side Tijuana, then Inter Miami.

River Plate have enjoyed a strong domestic campaign, finishing seven points clear in first in the second phase of the Argentine season. No team conceded fewer than their 19 goals.

But, according to Argentine outlet TyC Sports, head coach Marcelo Gallardo still wants to bring in defensive reinforcements with the likes of Javier Pinola and Jonatan Maidana reaching the end of their careers.

TyC's report states that River Plate will sign Gonzalez Pirez on a one-year loan, with an option to make his return to the club permanent at the end of that period.

Should he leave south Florida, Gonzalez Pirez would be the latest in a line of departures from Inter Miami that also includes Scottish winger Lewis Morgan, who joined the New York Red Bulls, and striker Julian Carranza, who has moved to the Philadelphia Union. Designated Player Rodolfo Pizarro is expected to join them, returning to Monterrey on loan.

Phil Neville has regularly stated his intention to clear house after failing to make the MLS Cup Playoffs this season - something that would be unforgivable again in 2022. He might well face a challenge replacing these players, whoever, with the Herons still under financial sanctions for the signing of French midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

Inter Miami's 2022 campaign kicks off at home to the Chicago Fire on February 26.

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