The Italian representative for Michael Bradley, Alberto Faccini, was on the radio in Italy on Thursday and shared some interesting information regarding his clients future. According to his comments a deal that would see Bradley move from AS Roma to Toronto FC is now complete and should be announced in the coming days.
An article on Goal.com by Rudi Schuller offers the full range of quotes from the agent's appearance on Radio Radio. The highlight of course was the agent confirming that a deal was in fact complete.
"Michael made this choice and Toronto, in just two days, has closed the deal."
The rest of the quotes are worth reading in the Goal article as they offer some insight into why Bradley chose to make this move so suddenly. It is clear that Bradley sees coming to Toronto FC as a chance to be an important player for the club and play a role in helping to grow soccer in North America. That desire was partially responsible for him turning down other offers from clubs in Italy and the rest of Europe to come back to MLS.
There is also the fact that the numbers that Bradley will reportedly be earning are staggering when compared to his current wages. His salary at TFC is likely going to be roughly six times what he was earning at Roma which is a hard raise for anyone to turn down. It is probably safe to say that none of the other clubs who were interested in landing Bradley were going to be offering his the sort of wages that Toronto FC apparently have.
Bradley's decision may also have been helped by his visit to Toronto during the summer with Roma. He was in town for a meaningless friendly but it would have exposed him to what TFC has to offer in terms of facilities and support staff. If there is one thing visiting players are often most impressed by it is the training ground up by Downsview which would have helped show Bradley that he is coming back to a much different MLS than the one he left.
With the deal now done according to the agents and even some of Bradley's USMNT teammates on twitter it is possible that the official announcement could be close behind. TFC are already planning a major event from 3-5 on January 13th that they will invite some lucky fans to. That event was presumably set for Jermain Defoe but if they could combine the two announcements into one it might just create the kind of excitement that Tim Leiweke promised to deliver with his signings this offseason.
A double swoop for Bradley and Defoe would be huge and having it completed before the middle of January leaves the club with plenty of time to make the moves they need to make now to round out the rest of the roster. The pressure will certainly be on now from the first kick of the new season as anything less than a playoff run would be a massive failure given the talent that looks likely to be on this squad.