Juve Gotta Be Kidding?! Reds Sign Giovinco

You look as shocked as we do Sebastian

You look as shocked as we do Sebastian

Remember the “Bloody Big Deal” ad last year when the stereotypical posh British gent spat his tea all over his newspaper? Imagine that. Except this time imagine the Montreal Impact Board of Directors. Now imagine they just read that Toronto FC have signed Juventus attacker Sebastian Giovinco. Now imagine they are eating big, sweaty provolone balls – that just makes it funnier. But it’s no joke. Ok, the cheese-spitting is… The Italian star heading to BMO Field is not.

Now confirmed by multiple media sources, (John Molinaro at Sportsnet was first here), The Reds have pulled off what is one of the biggest coups in MLS acquisition history. No, Giovinco doesn’t have the celebrity power of a David Beckham, Thierry Henry or (ahem) Jermain Defoe; but what makes him different is that he is in his prime. “The Atomic Ant”, as the 5’5″ Giovinco is affectionately called in Italy, is 27-years old, has played regularly, and successfully, in Serie A since 2007 and currently has 21 caps with the Azzurri. This is not your “retirement league” DP signing – this is the type of designated player MLS has wanted to evolve to. It’s just a bit of a shock it happened here.

What started as a rumour so seemingly preposterous that we didn’t even think of writing a Malignant Rumour piece about it, quickly turned on its head and will apparently come to a climax early next week. While it apparently took a “truckload of money” to make this deal happen, the magnitude of it can’t be dismissed. Will it succeed? Is Giovinco another Defoe – coming to TFC for the wrong reasons? Perhaps, but those are questions for another day. Right now you have to sit back and enjoy the risk-taking being performed by MLSE. It is a daring move that could blow up in their faces or turn out to be an astonishing steal. And really, isn’t this what you want from your club sometimes? To take that daring shot at glory? We’ve known false dawns here, but even if this is another one – it should be a fun ride.

For now, word is that Giovinco will join TFC in the summer near the beginning of July, but that does leave a question about any reported substantial transfer fee heading to Juventus. The player is out of contract in Turin at the end of the Serie A season and could be signed on a free at that time, so some explanation is required. There will likely be more clarification when the deal is officially announced. However, this is MLS so let’s not hold our breath on that one.

The other big question of course is the DP slot. Giovinco will be Toronto’s fourth current DP which of course means one of two things need to give. Either the expectant new MLS collective bargaining agreement will allow a fourth DP to all MLS clubs – or – Gilberto will be an ex-Red sometime in the near future. While few will want to see the affable Brazilian striker head out, making room for Giovinco is an unfortunate no-brainer.

These chances don’t fall into the laps of MLS clubs – yesterday Giovinco was rumoured with a handful of major English clubs. This is a special deal. Giovinco can play on the wing, up front and even in the mythical # 10 in a pinch. His stature has always endeared him to supporters, his often dynamic skill-set has proven him more than just a tiny side-show. Yes, most TFC supporters’ default mode is justifiably set to “CYNICAL”, but the future will reveal itself no matter what. For tonight we should sit back and enjoy our hair-pullingly frustrating club pulling off a deal that is very arguably bloodier and bigger than the one a year ago.

It’s a cheese-spitter.

Tony Walsh

Author: Tony Walsh

Tony Walsh is a writer, former minor-league broadcaster and failed astronaut. Born into supporting an underachieving football club only to end up supporting a second underachieving football club - through what must be deemed as soft immigration policies - he continues to make terrible life choices. Walsh is a keen observer of the malarkey-rife sport of football and is considered one of the leading voices on the Collin Samuel Obesity Epidemic.

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  1. Duncan Fletcher

    not really a lot to grumble about here. have we overpaid, yes, but this seems a much more sensible overpaying than the extreme overpaying done to altidore.
    Good move tfc. a risky one, but not bad at all.

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  2. Avatar

    I’d wait for the standard team website, scarf, jersey but even TFC screwed that up with Tal Ben Haim.

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    • Kristin Knowles

      Wonder if Bez or Vanney will fly out there to get that part done – nice little holiday, see the sights. Weather is probably better.

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  3. Avatar

    Did Tyler Twellman not tweet that a fourth DP slot was a done deal under the new CB?


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    • Kristin Knowles

      Until the CBA discussions are final I’m not willing to assume it’s set in stone. But yes, he seems fairly certain that it will happen. Next question is will TFC use it on Gil? Fingers crossed!

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  4. Avatar

    I love the positivity in this post! I’m very excited by this signing and Jozy as well. It’s great to see that Toronto FC are not afraid to mix it up with the European clubs and can present enticing offers to great players. I’m in Europe most of the year and my friends over here are taking notice of our club due to these signings. If nothing else it’s giving us some international exposure!

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    • Kristin Knowles

      Us being positive is a rare thing. Like spotting a unicorn or Collin Samuel refusing seconds. Glad you caught us on a ‘good’ day!

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      • Duncan Fletcher

        it’s easier in the off season, that’s when TFC are vikings, when there’s no games to be played, no poor chemistry to hold things back, or things just not quite being as good as they should be, or those infernal other teams showing up and actually being quite good as well. Now we can only look at things on paper and sometimes those things do look good. this is one of those times.

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  5. Avatar

    If there is a negative to this deal it would have to be the money Giovinco was signed to, $7 M. I wonder if this will cause any waves with TFC’s other senior player? Of course I also I wonder if Bradley’s deal is in CAD or USD which can result in a significant difference in real compensation these days.

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    • Duncan Fletcher

      yeah, there could definitely be issues with the salary there. at least there’s a reason for it here, ie competition from other, bigger clubs. just got to hope he’ll be committed and not just seeing it as a big payday, cos I think that’s something where the motivation probably wears off quite quickly.
      presume all the contracts are in us dollars given it’s through the league.

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