Vasco da Gama held a press conference on Thursday afternoon in Brazil to introduce the local media to their latest signing. That player is Toronto FC forward Gilberto who officially joins the club on loan.
The move has been a long time in the making with TFC having little choice but to find a new club for the Brazilian forward after they signed Sebastian Giovinco. The team was stuck with four designated players once again and this time around it was Gilberto that was the odd man out.
Toronto FC had offers from a number of MLS clubs as well as offers from other leagues but Gilberto's preference was to head back to Brazil. He spent a week training with Vasco da Gama to get himself in shape since he was not attending preseason with TFC but since then he has been in limbo. Gilberto remained with Vasco but was unable to train with them after the agreement between the two clubs ran out.
Vasco confirmed the reports of the previous weeks that Gilberto will join them on a loan deal that runs until the end of the year. The deal which runs through until December also includes an option for the Brazilian club to purchase the player
What the deal means for Toronto FC is that they are now in position to be roster compliant before the new season. Even if the new CBA includes decreased rosters the club will be able to get in line with that requirement with relative ease once they loan a number of players to Toronto FC II for their season.
For Gilberto this will likely be the end of his time at Toronto FC as it is hard to see him making a return even if the new CBA allows for clubs to add a fourth designated player to their roster. Add to that the fact that during the press conference the player made it quite clear that he did not want to return to Toronto and would much rather stay with Vasco moving forward.
His lack of desire to return to TFC will certainly have a lot to do with the way that the club handled him. He often found himself relegated to the bench when Jermain Defoe was healthy and then found himself on the outside looking in after just one season with the club. The club at least worked to find a new club for Gilberto where he would be happy but that is about the only positive for them in this situation.
Gilberto: "Eu 'brigava' com meu empresário, não quero voltar de jeito nenhum, quero ficar aqui" #gevas— Raphael Zarko (@raphazarko) February 19, 2015
When you add in comments like the above it becomes clear that we have seen the end of Gilberto in Toronto. The comment essentially translates to say that Gilberto "fought" with his agent and that he does not want to go back at all, wants to stay here (Vasco).
The rest of his press conference was focused on the usually subjects like how the player is excited to get back to playing and looks forward to earning his way in to the lineup.