Kevin Payne just can't let it lie can he. After a relative slowing down of the hype machine, and only 3 minor signings to show for this transfer window so far , that rush of tail chasing headlines and tweets might almost have died off. TFC might almost have been able to just focus on the negotiating behind the scenes and then maybe surprise us all with a grand unveiling later on, but nope, that's just not his style. There's been more talk of DP signings lately and then today at training he spilled out all sorts of goodies to John Molinaro, as reported on here, and on Molinaro's twitter.
They're in negotiations with Wellington for Jeremy Brockie, though if that happens it wouldn't be until next year, and they'll be having a conversation with Danny Koevermans later in the year as well. In the meantime they're "working 24 hours a day on some fairly sizeable signings"(Insert Gerba, Samuel, whoever joke here) and "are going to sign some DP-level talent in the next week or so". Exciting times, don't step away from twitter for a second folks.
Given all the craziness at Newell's Old Boys recently, Maximiliano Urruti's name was brought up and Payne confirmed their interest in him, though if they can persuade him to join up, it wouldn't be on a DP contract. So who would be that DP-level player?
Well, Payne wasn't letting that slip, but never mind, that sort of thing rarely stays secret with TFC and so we got this tweet from Kristian Jack.
Multiple sources tell me Toronto FC are working very hard to land Argentine Maximiliano Moralez from Atalanta to be their next DP. #tfc— Kristian Jack (@KristianJack) August 2, 2013
Another Maximiliano? Fun. Anyway, that's a new name so time to fire up the traditional Waking The Red transfer rumour template article: 'a 1,000 word article based on Wikipedia stats, poorly translated reports and draw all sorts of half baked conclusions without really saying anything' all in the style of a kid that's just got a puppy for christmas. Let's go.
Wikipedia stats: Well, he's 26 and only 5'3" so get ready for a lot of 'can he handle the physicality of MLS?' doubts. He was a regular starter in the Argentine Primera Division over the last few years with Racing Club, Velez Sarsfield before heading over to Serie A to join Atalanta. He's helped teams win a couple of Clausura's as well as playing a big part in Velez's run to the 2011 Cop Libertadores semi final. In all competitions he's got 49 goals and 52 assist in 247 games. He's played a few times for the Argentina u-20 teams and got a cap with the first team back in 2011.
All sounds pretty impressive, and at a high level, so it looks like he could be a very decent player at the MLS level.
Poorly translated report: Well, I can't find one of those as of yet, so instead we'll break with the proscribed template and go with a highlights video, some good stuff in there for sure, though way too much time seems to be spent on celebrations rather than the actual goals and skills and such like. Anyway, enjoy.
Half Baked Conclusion Without really Saying Anything: Well, obviously this is a very ambitious attempt, and would be a genuinely impressive signing if they can pull it off. What are things people are hoping for from a possible DP signing? Attacking player: Check. Not just that but a creative attacking midfielder, the type we haven't really had since Amado Guevara left: Check. Young: At 26 he could be around for a long long time, so Check to that one too. Big Exciting name? Well sorry Tim Leiwecke that one doesn't apply, but you keep trying for that. In the meantime let the others go after the ambitious yet sensibly so signings like this.
Obviously a player with this talent and experience in the prime of his career isn't going to come cheap, so there'd probably be a pretty hefty transfer fee to go along with the DP level wages needed to pry someone away from Serie A. It's a good statement of intent from MLSE that they're willing to go for this, whether it ends up happening or not, given that it's not a name that's going to be bringing in many casual fans or selling many shirts.
If not the instant name recognition, how would he help TFC? Well he'd be an obvious instant upgrade on our current options in midfield, and would definitely help with that whole creating chances part of the game that TFC tend to struggle with. Moralez ahead of Laba would be a very good midfield combo, meaning neither player would be able to rely on the old 'they need better players around them to look good' chestnut, the Julian de Guzman theory if you will.
How would he fit in though? Would the formation stay the same and he replaces either Bobby Convey or Jonathan Osorio? Do we instead move to a 4-5-1 formation, with Moralez at the top of a point forward triangle (ah I miss Bob de Klerk) with two DM's behind him and a lone forward (please be someone less flawed that Brockie or Braun). Or do we keep the 4-4-2, and instead go with a diamond midfield, Laba left to protect the defence on his own, or would Moralez be able to play a more central box to box role?
Who knows really, but if this all goes through, it'd be a nice problem for Ryan Nelsen to have, someone who's definitely the right piece of the puzzle, to help out right now and be part of a presumably more competitive future, it's just a question of how the rest of the puzzle fits around him.
That's all a long way off though as I'd say this is a distant possibility, the idea of leaving Serie A to come to TFC seems really quite unbelievable to me. Hopefully I'm wrong. Even if I'm not, I'd say keep trying, forget Forlan, this is exactly the type of player to go after if you're willing to spend crazy money to try and win. And hey with that I've made my 1,000 word goal. Classic WTR!