STV Sport is reporting that Steven Caldwell has already agreed to join Toronto FC on a short-term loan deal. With the central defender being told his contract with Birmingham City will not be renewed following the season he has already begun looking for new options and that seems to have led him to MLS and TFC.
The STV report states that Caldwell would be on loan only until June 30th when his contract with Birmingham expires at which point Toronto would have the option to sign him on a permanent basis. It would be a similar kind of deal to what the club worked out to bring in John Bostock earlier this season and what they seemed to be working on with Kevin Davies.
Caldwell is a 32 year-old defender and a Scottish international who has played for Newcastle United, Sunderland, Burnley, Wigan Athletic, and Birmingham City as well as spending time on loan with Blackpool, Bradford City, and Leeds United. He has had a fairly successful career in England over the years having made over 80 Premier League appearances but spent many years going back and forth between the top division and the Championship. His biggest highlight was captaining Burnley to the Championship title and helping them secure promotion into the Premier League.
With Scotland he has made a total of 12 appearances since 2001 with his most recent cap coming back in 2011. Caldwell has taken part in World Cup qualifying for Scotland but has never had the chance to represent his country on the big international stages.
This season Caldwell has made a total of 38 appearances for Birmingham City including featuring in 34 Championship matches. With Birmingham stuck in the middle of the table and little left to play for down the stretch Caldwell saw his place in the team taken away as the club looked towards younger options who will likely be around come the new season in August.
With Toronto already paying a large chunk of money for their current group of veteran CBs it would be a surprise to see them splashing out cash to bring in another one. With Darren O'Dea and Danny Califf supposed to provide the veteran leadership on the backline it would be interesting to see just where Caldwell would fit in should this report prove to be true.
When you add in Doneil Henry and Gale Agbossoumonde TFC has four CBs that take up a fair bit of cap and should all be looking to get minutes this season. Could the addition of Caldwell make one of the current crop expendable? Would it even be possible to dump off a player like Califf who has not been playing much in recent weeks and is a very expensive option to just have sitting on the bench.
There is also the fact that a CB does not seem to be the most pressing need for Toronto FC these days. The recent collection of injuries has exposed just how thin the club is at fullback and with Ashtone Morgan struggling this season there is room to upgrade that area of the team even when it is healthy.
We will follow the story as it continues to develop which could be soon if the initial report is correct that a deal is already in place for a short term loan.
Update: Birmingham City confirm the following on their official website "Steven Caldwell will spend the remainder of his current Blues contract (due to expire on 30 June 2013) on-loan at Major League Soccer outfit Toronto." With that it seems the deal is more than just a loose rumor and it should be a done deal with only confirmation from Toronto FC still remaining.