Last night Toronto FC looked in the rear view mirror when Jermain Defoe came to town with Sunderland. They may be doing that again soon as reports out of Brazil suggest their other forgotten former designated player, Gilberto, could be looking to return to North America.
Having brought Sebastian Giovinco into the fold in January, Toronto FC sent Gilberto on loan to Vasco Da Gama of the Brasileiro, the top division of Brazilian club football.
Things aren't exactly going well for Gilberto as of late, as he has yet to score so far this season. His club, meanwhile, have only 12 points and sit in the relegation zone after 14 matches.
All of this has Gilberto interested in leaving, according to a tweet from a Brazilian news source. The tweet also alleges his salary has also made the Vasco da Gama board discuss moving him out. It says this has caused his agent to look for North American options.
With the creation of the Core designated player rule, Toronto FC considered bringing Gilberto back into the fold. However, the consensus was that the team's needs really weren't offensive and that the money could be spent better on defensive help.
Last year Gilberto's salary was listed at $1.21 million in guaranteed compensation. That would be a significant investment for any club willing to pay his salary. It might not be an unfair one, however, considering what he brings to the table in terms of what he does on and off the ball and his potential to get better at 26 years of age.
Gilberto had 7 goals last season for Toronto and added 5 assists in 28 games. He earned plaudits more for his play than his statistics as he generated plenty of chances, but wasn't always able to convert.
Toronto may now be able to use Gilberto as an asset to acquire some MLS experience for their back line, or at least some allocation money that could be used during their transfer window. As Gilberto is still Toronto property, and move for him back to North America would require a trade with TFC.
There is certainly no shortage of clubs looking for offensive talent, as both Montreal Impact and Chicago Fire have been in the running for ex-Chelsea star Didier Drogba. The loser of the Drogba sweepstakes may be looking for another option, and Gilberto would be a nice fit for both.
Other clubs that theoretically would be looking for offensive help at the right price point would be Real Salt Lake after the recent departure of Alvaro Saborio. Orlando could also be a good fit if all of the names they are continuously linked to fall through and they are looking for a second option.
If this rumour has any truth it should start to move further in the next couple of days. The summer transfer window ends on August 6.