Camilo Sanvezzo is under contract with the Vancouver Whitecaps. According to the Whitecaps. He's also wearing the shirt of Queretaro and being presented as the Liga Bancomer MX side's newest signing.
Camilo, the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner after a 22-goal campaign, is in the crosshairs of the most bizarre story of the MLS offseason, and it's unclear as of now exactly where he stands.
Earlier Monday, Queretaro posted photos from its official Twitter account (that also appear on the club's official website) of Camilo wearing a club uniform and holding one up, presenting him as its latest signing:
Vancouver, meanwhile, begs to differ. The Whitecaps stated later Monday afternoon that:
The Whitecaps announced in November that they had exercised the 2014 option on Camilo, who has netted 39 goals and accounted for 16 assists in his three seasons in MLS. Whether he will return to BC Place to add to those numbers sure seems in question despite the team's stance, and major explanations are necessary from all of the parties involved.
It must be said that this is not the first case of unusual transfer window activity involving Queretaro this winter. The club touted the signing of U.S. national team left back DaMarcus Beasley, only to not have secured his signature at all. He opened the Liga MX season still very much as an active player for Puebla.
Stay tuned for the next twist in this most absurd soap opera.
Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi spoke to the media in Vancouver and reiterated the club's stance that Camilo is Whitecaps property despite Queretaro's announcement. The club released a statement saying:
All through the process, the ‘Caps have maintained that Camilo is under contract. This has since been acknowledged by Queretaro FC after MLS provided proof of contract and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) provided proof of registration this morning.
Camilo’s international transfer certificate (ITC), otherwise known as his player passport, is registered with the CSA. A club cannot sign any player without the acquisition of his ITC.
It was announced on November 28 that Whitecaps FC had picked up Camilo’s contract option for the 2014 season, a deal the Brazilian initially agreed to back in February 2012. This information was relayed to Queretaro FC last week and again today. Additionally, both Camilo and his agent understood that Whitecaps FC picked up his 2014 contract option when contacted last week.
Following his appointment last month, Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson connected with each of the club’s contracted players, including Camilo. And Robinson was in communication with Camilo when the rumours surfaced in recent weeks and again this morning.
Central Deportiva's Diego Rubalcava tweeted that Queretaro's president told him Camilo has not signed:
In addition, the club has removed all images of Camilo from their web site and Twitter account.