The beleaguered MLS club continues its offseason shopping spree with perhaps the biggest week in team history.It's going to be a busy few days for Toronto FC.
On Thursday afternoon, the club will welcome back its all-time leading scorer, native son Dwayne De Rosario, in a humble press conference at BMO Field. The team will follow that up with a glitzy welcome on Monday for incoming striker Jermain Defoe, who has agreed to a record fee that will total around $50 million with TFC after a courtship that lasted months.
Joining De Rosario and Defoe as new Reds could be U.S. national team star Michael Bradley, who has found himself out of favour at AS Roma. Goal has learned that the 26-year-old midfielder is in advanced negotiations with Toronto, and he could be unveiled alongside Defoe.
If the American is signed he will be on a designated player contract, pushing TFC's number of DPs to four. MLS roster rules currently only allow for a maximum of three DPs per team, and with Defoe and recently signed Brazilian Gilberto also taking up designated player spots, that leaves Argentine midfielder Matias Laba as the most likely to be moved.
Sources tell Goal that Laba could be traded or even loaned within the league, with Toronto also looking at the possibility of buying down the 22-year-old's deal so that he would not be counted as a designated player.
The flurry of high-priced moves could prove to be a big juggling act for TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko, but he'll be helped by the reduction of De Rosario's wage. The Toronto native, who counted as a DP for D.C. United last season, agreed to a much smaller wage to return to his hometown club.