On Monday morning we got the full run of denials out of South America about Diego Forlan. First it was his club, Internacional, and his agent and then it was Forlan himself. That made it Toronto FC's turn to offer their own denials about the deal being close to completion.
The first denial came in a Canadian Press report (posted on TSN) which provided the basic no comment from the club.
Toronto FC had little to say Monday in the wake of a story that Uruguayan star striker Diego Forlan was headed to the MLS club.
"Nothing to report," was the official response.
That response was to be expected from the club as they are not going to confirm a signing as big as Forlan would be without a whole lot of fanfare. Add to that the fact that until all of the dotted lines have been signed they would be foolish to offer any kind of statement on the matter (a lesson their summer interns on twitter sadly have yet to learn).
The denials got more explicit from there though as the club moved from the no comment end of the spectrum to actually talking about the deals they are working on. Grant Wahl tweeted out a comment from Tim Leiweke on Monday night addressing the matter.
Tim Leiweke on Toronto FC: "We are looking hard at a major DP. Talking to a half-dozen. Have not finished a deal with anyone yet."— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 9, 2013
That was far more explicit but still did not refer to Forlan by name. Leiweke would clearly be the man behind any massive signing like he was with David Beckham with the LA Galaxy so it is no surprise that he offered comment on the reports.
Like the denials that came out of Brazil, these ones from Toronto FC could be nothing more than a smoke screen as until a deal is completed they have to do their part to keep leverage in the negotiations and not spoil the deal by jumping the gun on a confirmation.
TFC would of course be better off preventing the leaks that led to this story being reported in the first place. That way they could continue with their negotiations in peace and quiet rather than having to offer any sort of denial. Cutting off the leaks and presenting a unified front was something that Kevin Payne promised he would deliver when he was first appointed as Club President but he seems to have made little progress on that matter.
On Monday, Richard Whittall posted a piece on the Score's Counter Attack blog that offered a good take down of the continued leaks around the club. He hits a number of nails on the head about the variety of different reports that are making the rounds offering a take down of not only the leaks around the club but also a number of reporters.
All of the denials offered today from Toronto and Brazil do little to change what we already knew. The simple fact of the matter is that a deal for Forlan will not be done until we see him presented at BMO Field. Until that time happens there will almost certainly continue to be conflicting reports as everyone is hearing something different from their sources.
On the surface of things it seems that if a deal is happening then Internacional have done a much better job about keeping it quiet as no one in South America seems to have heard that a deal is in the works. Toronto is the exact opposite though as anyone with an unnamed source seems to have heard that some negotiations have at least taken place even if many suggest that things are not as far along as that Globe and Mail report suggested.
Monday was a wild day in the Forlan saga but with the MLS summer transfer window set to open on Tuesday things could progress from conflicting reports to something serious. That depends on who you believe though but I like to think that where there is this much smoke there will likely be some fire.