Toronto FC has signed Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco as a designated player and will announce the deal early next week, according to John Molinaro of Sportsnet.ca.
Giovinco, who turns 28 on Jan. 26, will be out of his contract with Juventus at the end of the Serie A season. Toronto FC has reportedly been after Giovinco for some time, and according to Molinaro, the club offered Giovinco a four-year deal that he accepted this week. A formal announcement is expected Monday or Tuesday.
The same sources told Sportsnet that Giovinco had other contract offers from European clubs, but he decided to sign with Toronto FC after the team offered him “a truckload of money,” believed to be $7 million US per season.
Giovinco will come to Toronto FC as a designated player, joining Gilberto, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, who signed with the team this week after securing a transfer from Sunderland of the English Premier League.
Unless the league's new collective bargaining agreement, which is currently being negotiated between MLS and the players' union, increases the designated player limit to four per team, Toronto FC will have to sell one of those four players. Reports suggest Gilberto and his sizable contract could be on the move.
Giovinco has scored 12 goals in 91 appearances with Juventus since 2006. The Turin, Italy, native spent a year on loan with Empoli and two more on loan with Parma. He returned to Juventus in June 2012.
In six league appearances this season, Giovinco has not scored a goal. He did score two goals and win a penalty in an Italian Cup win over Hellas Verona earlier this week.
- Mike Fiammetta