A reunion between Sebastian Giovinco and Toronto FC has been put on hold with the former MLS striker reportedly returning to Serie A with Sampdoria.
Sebastian Giovinco is making his return to Serie A despite Toronto FC looking to bring back the Atomic Ant.
Giovinco was invited to TFC’s training camp in California with both parties expressing their desire to work out a deal. Now it looks like those plans are put on hold with the 35-year-old getting a chance to return to Italy.
According to The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano, Giovinco is signing a deal with Sampdoria in Genova. The move comes after Sampdoria striker Manolo Gabbiadini suffered a serious knee injury.
Giovinco hasn’t played in Serie A since 2015 when he was with Juventus and made the move to Canada to play for TFC. He spent four years in Toronto where he set franchise records and helped the team capture the MLS Cup in 2017.
Clearly, this was not a move anyone could have predicted considering Giovinco’s focus was on a potential return with Toronto FC. There were some hurdles to overcome when it came to salary but Bill Manning said the tune changed recently.
“(Giovinco) came to us … and said: ‘Look, you know I want to play in Toronto and it’s not about the money. It’s about me playing in Toronto and finishing my career the right way,’ ” Manning told the Toronto Sun.
TFC made the blockbuster move to bring in Lorenzo Insigne when his contract with Napoli finishes. With Insigne and Carlos Salcedo joining the team as designated players, the club is currently over the maximum spots allowed by MLS.
There are reports that Jozy Altidore is on his way out on a three-year deal with the New England Revolution. That would get Toronto back down to three DP players on their roster with Insigne, Salcedo and Alejandro Pozuelo.
Now Salcedo contract could become a TAM player at some point but that won’t be in time to help TFC get below the maximum which is why the Altidore deal is crucial. Now, why is this important?
TFC probably also wants to have some flexibility with the third DP spot when it opens up as they have shown interest in Andrea Belotti, who might decide to remain in Italy.
It’s been made known that Giovinco was looking to come back to TFC but wanted to earn a designated player wage which the club was not willing to do. While the Turino native was willing to take less money in order to potentially finish his career in Toronto, a chance to return to Serie A is hard to pass up.
Does Sebastian Giovinco’s return to Serie A close the door with Toronto FC?
One thing to keep in mind is that the Serie A season ends on May 23 and Giovinco’s contract is likely only until the end of the 2021-22 campaign. This move might actually be beneficial for all parties involved on multiple levels.
For Sampdoria, they are looking to avoid relegation sitting five points above Venezia so they can’t let Gabbiadini’s injury derail the rest of their season. For Giovinco, he gets a chance to play in Italy’s top league which could be a good or bad thing for TFC.
Worst case scenario, Giovinco earns another contract down the line in Serie A which would be great for him but at his age, you wonder how many years he has left. If Giovinco is only in Serie A for the remainder of the season, he could be an option to come back to MLS in June or July like Insigne and already in playing shape and having spent time in camp with TFC.
Of course, this is all speculative until we know more about Giovinco’s status and whether TFC is willing to keep the door open for him.
Do you think Giovinco will make his return to MLS? Are you excited to see what he can do in his return to Serie A? Let us know in the comments below.