General manager Nick De Santis revealed to Goal.com that the Canadian team have offered the Italian an 18-month deal while ending their interest in Alessandro Del Piero
By Alex Labidou
Montreal Impact general manager Nick De Santis has confirmed that the MLS side have offered a contract to Marco Di Vaio.
The Italian announced on Friday his exit from Serie A side Bologna and stated that he had received an offer from the Canadian outfit, which De Santis, who also revealed that discussions have taken place with Bayer Leverkusen's Michael Ballack, backed up.
"We have made a offer to Bologna's Marco Di Vaio," the club boss told Goal.com.
"It was nice to hear him say that [he'd had the offer] because a month ago, in a press conference, he said that he wasn't going to leave Bologna and he wasn't interested in going to Canada. So that discouraged us a little bit. So [Friday's] comments puts us on a positive note."
De Santis added that, once the Serie A season is complete, Di Vaio and his family will be visiting Montreal to evaluate the club's offer, with an 18-month contract on the table with options for an additional two years.
"His entourage has stressed that his family needs to be in the best conditions possible for them to be happy," the Montreal official stated.
"We've invited them to the city to meet the club, to look at the city and see where we're at in MLS and then we'll see where we go from here."
According to De Santis, Montreal will be aggressive in pursuing other targets as the club aim to make the playoffs in their inaugural MLS season, and one of the players at the top of his list is former German international Michael Ballack.
The 35-year-old midfielder is out of contract in mid-May and the former Canada international believes that Ballack would be a great addition to the team.
"When you talk about Michael Ballack, you're talking about a centre midfielder that has great character and experience," De Santis continued. "Of course, when you speak of players of that calibre, there's an obviously an interest. These are conversations that we are open to and have had already. Now, it's just moving it along."
One player who De Santis said the Impact will not be going after is Alessandro Del Piero. The 44-year-old revealed that after talking to the Juventus legend almost a year ago, the door is now officially closed on a move.
"With Del Piero, we had an interest almost a year ago but they disclosed that their interest was in New York and Los Angeles," De Santis explained.
The general manager has high expectations for the 35-year-old Di Vaio should he join the Impact. The general manager pointed to the former Lazio youth trainee's impressive goal ratio in Italy's top flight as a sign that he will be a success in MLS.
"He's a prolific goal scorer, he has a ratio of one goal for every two games in one of the most difficult leagues to score in," he added. "When we made the move to join MLS two years ago, Marco was one of the forwards that we felt could succeed in the league."