Matias Laba may have played his final match for Argetninos Juniors and if he has done so he managed to go out with a bang. With his club taking on Tigres in Argentine Primera Division action earlier this week Laba was shown a red card early in the second half of what turned out to be a 1-0 defeat for his club. With Argentinos now stuck down near the bottom of the table and staring relegation in the face Laba is set to leave for MLS.
The club's official website reported yesterday that the team has accepted Toronto FC's offer for the player and that he would travel to Toronto today to finalize the personal terms of the deal. The statement from the club on their site was very brief confirming that the deal had been accepted and pointing to the fact that it will give the club funds that they need to operate.
En reunión de Comisión Directiva se aceptó la oferta del Toronto FC de la MLS por el volante surgido de las inferiores, quien viajará mañana rumbo a Canadá. Sus representantes y allegados solicitaron expresamente la aprobación del pase, que dejará un ingreso de dinero muy beneficioso para el club.
With Laba expected to arrive in Toronto at some point on Thursday it fits the timeline that has been talked about for the past week as the player could be officially signed by the start of next week and though he is unlikely to be available on the weekend against the New York Red Bulls it might not be long after that before he suits up for TFC for the first time.
Further reports from South America are indicating that the transfer fee which was initially speculated to be 1.5 million USD will be only slightly lower with TFC splashing 1.35 million USD to land the midfielders signature. The second report also indicates that Laba is expected to leave at 10:30 pm, so presumably getting to Toronto on Friday morning.
The interesting note in the second report is that when the Board at Argentinos voted on the sale of the player opinions were split. With 8 votes for the sale, 1 against, and 3 abstentions it is clear that there are mixed emotions about the sale as the club tries to balance the need for funds and trying to avoid relegation. That vote also fits with the delays that had been mentioned by Ryan Nelsen and several reports as some in the club were opposed to the sale as it would hurt their chances of survival in the league.
With two other deals falling through in the final stages already this week TFC fans will likely be rightly skeptical about this transfer until they see Laba in a TFC shirt. The good news is that they may not have to wait much longer for that to happen.