General manager Tim Bezbatchenko confirms there has still been no official offer for Sebastian Giovinco, but advises Toronto FC are more concerned with contending than money.
Given all the recent speculation surrounding Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC have yet to receive contact from any Chinese Super League clubs. As reported by the Toronto Sun‘s Kurt Larson, this was confirmed on Thursday, by general manager Tim Bezbatchenko.
Bezbatchenko said: “I haven’t had a phone call, e-mail or text. I’ve received nothing by way of a formal expression in Sebastian from any club or group (from China)”
However, if and when any offer is received, Bezbatchenko stressed that TFC still have no intention of selling Giovinco. In fact, they don’t even have a price tag for their superstar: “Not at my level or the board level.”
From Toronto FC’s perspective, they are focused on building on the success of the previous two seasons. Bezbatchenko said: “We’ve tried to show commitment through the acquisition of all of our Designated Players that it’s not about a money grab.
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“We’re a club that wants to contend for a championship each year. It’s not about money, or buying low and selling high.”
For what it’s worth, Giovinco has repeatedly told the media in recent days that he is happy in Toronto. At least he’s been consistent, having also relayed the same message to TFC.
Bezbatchenko said: “Each morning there’s an opportunity where I see (Giovinco). I pulled him in and had a chat about it.
“He’s like, ‘Look, it’s nothing formal.’ He realizes that. He just said he’s happy here.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean Toronto FC’ fans can relax just yet. As Bezbatchenko said: “Until anything that really comes out that’s real, there’s no point in discussing it.”
In a nutshell, that’s the key to this whole situation. Considering that the Chinese transfer window does not close until February 28th, there’s plenty of time for things to change.
However, despite the deadline being someway off, you have to wonder why no one has reached out to TFC yet? Apparently, only Giovinco’s agent Andrea D’Amico has been contacted, and therein lies some of the intrigue.
Just last week, D’Amico told Sky Sport Italia: “We need to analyze the situation. The Chinese club seems to be very interested, but I don’t think it’ll be easy to take him away from Toronto.”
Given D’Amico’s comments, you have to wonder what his strategy is here? One theory which has been repeated several times, most recently by Waking the Red, is the agent is angling to secure a new deal for his client.
As Oliver Platt writes, it’s conceivable D’Amico has become frustrated by the lack of traction, hence all this talk about interest from China. As things stand, the 2015 MLS MVP is under contract for another three seasons, meaning TFC are theoretically working from a position of strength.
Ultimately though, it’s still all speculation and guess work at this point. We wait to see what — if anything — transpires between now and the end of February.
Taking the most recent comments by Bezbatchenko, what’s your position regarding the apparent interest from China? Do you think Giovinco wants to stay or go? Further, what part is his agent playing in this whole saga? Share your thoughts in the comments section.