The most interesting part of the January transfer window may not be who Toronto FC bring in, but instead who they move out. Acquiring domestic players in December has meant the club don't have much on their to-do list going into January. A goalkeeper, maybe a winger, but nothing to the extent of the last two seasons.
The club, however, still need to make room for their December move and that process could be starting soon as striker Luke Moore has been linked with a number of clubs in the English Premier League and Championship. The forward is still under contract with Toronto FC meaning any deal at this point would compensate the club.
He is currently training with Aston Villa, where he played for the majority of his team in England, but he has not been linked to that club. Instead, his former club Swansea and Bournemouth have reportedly shown interest from the Premier League. A handful of Championship sides are also seeking his services.
Moving him likely wouldn't completely solve Toronto's cap problems, especially with what they still need to acquire. But at $235,500 in guaranteed compensation it would certainly be a big weight off of Toronto's shoulder's.
The 29-year-old Moore spent the first 10 years of his career in England, mainly with Villa, Swansea and West Brom. He also played briefly for Wycombe Wanderers and Derby Country on loan.
Since coming to MLS in 2014 to join Chivas USA, Moore has played in 48 matches and started 30. In that time he has scored 7 goals and 7 assists, all of which came while he was playing for Toronto after being acquired in a trade.
His departure would mean a complete overhaul of Toronto's offensive depth, after Robbie Findley was let go earlier in the offseason. This would leave Toronto with only veteran striker Herculez Gomez, who they acquired this summer, and rookie Jordan Hamilton.
Provided another striker was not acquired, this would be a huge vote of confidence in a 19-year-old who has only ever played 14 MLS minutes, and his veteran counterpart. Productive striker depth is going to be crucial for Toronto FC, as the vast majority of their goals will be away for the summer months.
Sebastian Giovinco is expected to represent Italy at Euro 2016, while Jozy Altidore will most likely be joining the United States for the Copa America. The club did not show much of a knack for scoring when these two were gone, which is why the absence of a dependable player like Moore could be detrimental.
For his role Moore is certainly overpaid, as is Gomez for that matter, but is still an important piece. While he is never flashy, he can come on the field and do a job and is decent at creating space on the field for other strikers. His ability to set up other players is also underrated and he has shown that he is comfortable with starting games.
What Moore lacks, however, and why Gomez might be the better option if it is a one over the other scenario, is the off field presence. Gomez has the character and experience to thrive with Toronto FC as an MLS veteran and one of the few players in the Toronto locker room who has lifted up the trophy. He also seems to be more of a presence in the room.
Moore is certainly not irreplaceable, either, as young and cheaper options in the league have provided similar services to what he has since joining the club. Hence, should a reasonable offer come Toronto's way it is likely that they would accept.