According to numerous reports in Italy, the Montreal Impact are in talks with star forward Alessandro Del Piero, but Impact president Joey Saputo denied these claims on Friday.
MONTREAL -- Montreal Impact club president Joey Saputo met with the media on Friday to unveil the nearly completed expansion of Saputo Stadium. With reports in Italy emerging Friday morning suggesting that former Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero is in new talks with the Impact, Saputo also took the time to respond to those reports.
“The last discussions we had with Del Piero’s people were last August 2011, when Del Piero’s brother called me to say that Del Piero wanted to come to MLS but that he wanted to go to New York or Los Angeles,” said Saputo. “That was the last time that we spoke.
“As far as I’m concerned, that ship has sailed.”
But Sporting director Nick De Santis told Tuttomercatoweb a bit of a different story in April, saying that the Impact had spoken to Del Piero in January, and that despite the former Italian international's preference for New York and Los Angeles that “if he has changed his mind, however, we will not shut the door on him.”
With Friday’s Italian reports, along with the fact that the Los Angeles Galaxy already have three designated players while New York are in search of a midfielder rather than another forward, Del Piero's signature with the Impact still remains a possibility.
De Santis has also said in recent weeks that the Impact are on the lookout for a creative midfielder or forward, and didn't rule out the signing of a second designated player.
The Impact's number ten jersey has been put aside for this reason.
There were also other reports claiming that members of Saputo’s family met with Del Piero during his vacation in Miami. Saputo denied these claims, but admitted that he knew that Del Piero had met with Impact forward Bernardo Corradi and that they had recently played tennis together.
Montreal’s new signing Marco Di Vaio will also be taking a two week vacation in Miami in the next day or two and is likely to meet up with Del Piero, who was his teammate at Juventus from 2002 to 2004.
Del Piero, who turns 38 in November, made one million euros last year with Juventus.