Toronto FC turned heads in Europe when they signed Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus earlier this year. This weekend, Tim Bezbatchenko is hoping he can find a few more European reinforcements as he takes a scouting trip to Italy. Yesterday Bezbatchenko watched a match between Capri and Frosinone of Serie B while today he attended a match between Parma and Palermo of Serie A.
His reported company at today's game is particularly interesting: Andrea D'Amico who is the agent of Sebastian Giovinco. Having a relationship with D'Amico would certainly be good for Toronto FC, as he is an influential person in Italian soccer.
As for who they are looking at, reports from David Amoyal, he of the Umberto Gandini rumours that surfaced earlier this week, suggests Parma's Jose Mauri and Antonio Nocerino as potential targets. He also mentions that Toronto could be looking at several other players as well.
Nocerino is definitely the more intriguing of the two, as the midfielder has played for Juventus, AC Milan and the Italian National team. The 30-year-old is currently on loan at Parma from AC Milan, where he has scored a pair of goals in 19 matches with the club.
Mauri, at 18, could also be a nice addition to the club. Yet another midfielder, he has played 27 games for Parma this season scoring twice. He has also represented the Italian national team, at the U18 level.
While Amoyal doesn't know for sure, he believes that Toronto would be looking for a loan deal after the end of the Serie A season. This would be an ideal time for Toronto to add reinforcements as it would also mean the freedom to move some of their other pieces.
Kurt Larson, however, says that Toronto's search is not exclusively in Italy as they are looking in other parts of Europe as well.
Bezbatchenko in Italy. Reds looking at Italians, yes. But also have identified multiple players at multiple positions in France/Spain.— Kurtis Larson (@KurtLarSUN) April 25, 2015
The timing of this trip is interesting, as are the reported players even if they largely remain rumours, and one of many at this point. While most believe that Toronto FC does not have much cap space left to make a move such as this, and Bezbatchenko has spoken to that effect before, it could be an interesting summer for the club.
The roster could certainly use a bit of a lift, and Bezbatchenko seems keen to show his new boss, whoever that may be, that he is able to effectively navigate the European market. It is something that Toronto has never really be good at, so having their current reputation in Italy and beyond could certainly help change that fact.