It’s Toronto FC’s world and all of us North American soccer reporters are just living in it. The Canadian club already announced this week the signing of US national team forward Jozy Altidore with rumors of Juventus attacker Sebastian Giovinco not being far behind persisted.
According to a report by Sportsnet’s John Molinaro on Saturday, the deal to bring Giovinco to MLS is complete and will be announced at a press conference early next week.
[ MORE: Ful details of Altidore, Defoe swap ]
Giovinco’s representatives reportedly met with TFC officials this week in Toronto and accepted the club’s offer of a multi-year deal. The 27-year-old midfielder, whose current contract with Juventus runs out this summer, reportedly had a number of European suitors but has apparently chosen to take the path less traveled (and higher paying — the term “truckload of money” was used in Molinaro’s report), instead.
Upon his MLS arrival in July, Giovinco could very well be the league’s best playmaker on day one of his MLS adventure, besting the likes of the extremely talented Diego Valeri, Lee Nguyen and Pedro Morales.
As I wrote last week, with regards to a potential Giovinco signing and TFC’s current roster status:
To make way for Giovinco’s signing, TFC would likely have to ship out current Designated Player, Brazilian forward Gilberto, to make room for what is likely to be a hefty DP contract for the Italian. That is, of course, contingent upon this winter’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement which is still to be negotiated between MLS’s owners and Players Union.
The addition for a fourth DP slot exists, but a sizable increase in the league’s restrictive salary cap and some form of free agency movement for longer tenured players remains at the forefront of the players’ wish list.
Additionally, Gilberto would have to be off TFC’s books at the start of the 2015 season for Giovinco to be added to the roster as a DP this summer.
A Michael Bradley-Jonathan Osorio pairing deep in midfield with Giovinco as the No. 10 off Altidore’s shoulder sounds like quite the tantalizing prospect on the attack, without question. Now, about that porous 2014 defense which is yet to be addressed…