With the transfer window slowly creaking it's way closed, it's getting to squeaky bum time in the Toronto FC offices if this isn't going to be judged a total disaster. With Luis Silva and Darren O'Dea shipped off and only Mark Bloom, Alvaro Rey and Jonas Elmer to show for it, and Newell's Old Boys apparently ready to put up a large fight over Maxi Urruti, things were looking pretty grim.
There were further updates today that didn't really give much detail but if things do work out as the tweets suggest, then it could probably be judged a qualified success (with the sensible 'let's see how he plays' caveat's attached), a step in the right direction if not quite a giant leap forward that Lieweke and Payne and co have been suggesting.
First up the bad news, via Emmanuel Quispe who we've already heard from plenty of times before with regards to our Argentinian explorations.
#TFC: #Atalanta accepted an #TorontoFC offer by MAXI MORALEZ (26), but MF Argentine doesn't want to go to Canada #MLS pic.twitter.com/nx2B9SLMRV— Emmanuel Quispe (@emaquix) August 6, 2013
MF Argentine indeed.
So, apparently TFC (or MLS, whoever pays for these things these days, who knows really?) did manage to come up with a transfer fee big enough to get Serie A Atalanta's attention, but it seems like Maxi Moralez isn't all that interested. Whether that's a flat out no, or a 'pay me Clint Dempsey money and all of a sudden I might change my mind' no, we don't really know, but for now this one is looking less likely. It was always a long shot really in the first place, but with the Urruti saga looking at the very least like it was going to take a long time to be resolved, things were looking very bleak indeed.
But then later this afternooon we had Emmanuel Quispe again, this time bringing good news:
#TFC: Argentine FW MAXI URRUTI will join @TorontoFC. Former #Newells travelling to Canada on Thursday or Friday @MLS pic.twitter.com/GpqC9XnJMC— Emmanuel Quispe (@emaquix) August 6, 2013
Meanwhile, Argentine Journalist Cesar Luis Merlo had this to say:
Esta noche viaja Maxi Urruti para hacerse la revisión médica y, si está todo en orden, firmar con el Toronto FC.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 6, 2013
Roughly translated: Maxi Urruti travels tonight to undergo his medical and if all is in order, sign with Toronto FC.
No details of exactly what has changed, or indeed if anything has changed. Does this mean TFC have come to an agreement with Newell's, compensating them so they'll drop their legal challenges, or are Newell's still prepared to fight this one out, no matter what Urruti might think about his contract status.
This follow up tweet from Merlo, responding to a question, seems to suggest that NOB are still not on board with this move.
RT @mascarrunzc: @CLMerlo hubo arreglo con NOB? / NO!!!— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) August 6, 2013
So, while it seems that he will be coming to Toronto sometime this week to sign up, there's still plenty of potential complications with this one. It may well be a case of getting his signature on paper before the deadline runs out so MLS can again bend it's rules and still maintain a veneer of regularity then sorting out all the legal implications involved so that he can actually play.
It might be for the best to not get your hopes up for a Dempsey vs Urruti clash on Saturday, but it does seem more positive today that we will eventually see Urruti as a Red. Sadly, we can't say the same about Moralez.