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Toronto FC to pay $1.5 million for Matias Laba?

Reports from Argentina suggest that Toronto could be set to shell out an impressive 1.5 million USD to land Matias Laba from Argentinos. Just how would such a transfer work.

Could Payne be reaching for his MLSE credit card loaded with MLS funny money?
Could Payne be reaching for his MLSE credit card loaded with MLS funny money?

The chatter around Matias Laba has been growing steadily over the past 24 hours and as even more reports surface out of South America that he is heading to Toronto it is a safe bet that he is that mystery second player that the club has confirmed they are looking to bring in by the end of the month. For the basic info on just who Laba is you can find more in our initial report on the move from Monday afternoon.

The latest wrinkle in the story is that Toronto FC is reportedly set to pay USD $1.5 million to land the player's signature. It seems like a steep price for the 21 year old midfielder but considering he represented Argentina in an Under-20 World Cup and is already a regular in the Argentine Primera Division for Argentinos Junior it is not really a surprise that he would come with that sort of a price tag.

Matías Laba recibió una oferta del Toronto FC, equipo canadiense que compite en la liga de los Estados Unidos. A Argentinos le quedaría un millón y medio de dólares.

El mediocampista, que no podrá jugar el viernes ante Atlético de Rafaela por haber llegado a las cinco amarillas, viajaría a Canadá el 29 de abril. Si se confirma el pase, se despediría del equipo que dirige Ricardo Caruso Lombardi ante Tigre, por la 10ª fecha del Torneo Final.

Por otra parte, Santiago Nagüel sufrió una distensión en el aductor su pierna derecha y tendrá, como mínimo, dos semanas de recuperación. Había sido titular en el último partido, ante Unión.

From: tycsports

MLS clubs paying this kind of money for a transfer is not a completely foreign concept as there have been reports of large transfer fees in previous deals including the Seattle Sounders reportedly spending $4 million to land their new DP forward, Obafemi Martins. There have also been big fees paid out to bring the likes of Landon Donovan back to MLS or attract Luis Hernandez to the league but with transparency being rare around MLS it is hard to know just what kind of transfer fees have been paid out in the past.

So just how would Toronto FC be able to afford to bring in a player with that kind of price tag? Well, MLS teams do have a number of options on how to deal with a transfer fee but because of the league being a single entity things are a bit more complicated than MLSE just breaking out their check book and paying whatever fee is needed.

TFC could pay for the transfer fee with allocation money and that would mean only having the players salary impact their budget but the chances of the club having that kind of allocation money around are quite slim even with all the dealing on draft day. They could also use allocation to pay for part of the transfer fee but what remains would end up counting against the cap.

That 1.5 million dollar fee will likely end up being prorated across the guaranteed portion of Laba's contract. That means if TFC were to sign him to a deal with three years guaranteed plus possible option years it would mean he would take up $500,000 plus his salary each year which would put Laba well above the young Designated Player cap hit.

With Maxamilliano Urrutti coming in on loan for the rest of the season TFC might be able to bring him in below the young DP cap hit amount. Without any transfer fee being involved at this point in time he could prove to be the more affordable of the two additions while it looks like Laba will end up being the young DP of the two.

Of course, with Torsten Frings, Eric Hassli, and Julian De Guzman all gone over the past months it does mean that Toronto is in a position where they could end up adding both Argentines as young DPs since the club is currently using only one of their three available DP slots and that is on the injured Danny Koevermans. With Urrutti and Laba both being between the ages of 21 and 23, the most they could cost against the cap this season would be $200,000 each. That is still a large chunk of the cap but a bit more manageable than the $368,750 that a DP over 23 years of age takes up.

If Toronto is going to end up bringing in Laba as a young designated player it would be wise for the club to only include two guaranteed years on his contract so that by the time that he reaches the age of 23 his transfer fee will have been paid for and the club could then work to sign him to a new deal that would take up less of the salary cap.

With MLS not making such rules available in any form there is a lot of speculation involved in just how such a transfer would work out but if Toronto FC are set to spend that kind of money on Laba it is a safe bet that it will mean the club having to use up a DP spot on the young Argentine.

Lets just hope that if he does come in as a DP it works out more like Frings than like JDG.