It appears as if the Montreal Impact are close to signing their first Designated Player.
Just hours after Marco Di Vaio announced his exit from Serie A side Bolgna and stated that he has received an offer from Montreal, Impact general manager Nick De Santis confirmed the team's interest in the striker.
"We have made a offer to Bologna's Marco Di Vaio," De Santis told Goal.com.
De Santis explained that the deal isn't done yet but Di Vaio's recent comments are a very good sign for the club that has been desperately seeking a legitimate goal scorer to its roster.
"It was nice to hear him say that 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 today's comments puts us on a positive note," De Santis said.
De Santis said that once the Serie A season is complete, Di Vaio and his family will be visiting Montreal to evaluate the club's offer. De Santis revealed that the club has offered him a 18-month contract with team 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," De Santis said.
"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 aims to make the playoffs in its inaugural season. One of the players at the top of his list is former German international Michael Ballack.
The 35-year-old Bayer Leverkusen midfielder is out of contract in mid-May and De Santis believes that Ballack would be intregal addition to the team.
"When you talk about Michael Ballack, you're taking about a center midfielder that has great character and experience," De Santis stated. "Of course, when you speak of players of that caliber, 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 GM said that after talking to the attacking midfielder almost a year ago, the door is now officially closed.
"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.
"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," De Santis said. "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."