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Report: Toronto FC lose Gilberto to Chicago Fire Via Waivers

Toronto's ex-designated player Gilberto is on his way to the Chicago after terminating his lone with Brazilian club Vasco Da Gama.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Gilberto will be back in red shortly, but it will be the red of Chicago Fire and not Toronto FC. After losing out of Didier Drogba, who is going to the Montreal Impact, Chicago were quick to pull the trigger on their second striker option, as reports say they claimed the 26-year-old Brazilian striker off waivers tonight.

Earlier in the week it was reported that Gilberto was looking to make a North American return after a falling out with Vasco Da Gama, the Brazilian club to which he was loaned.

Toronto sent Gilberto to Vasco in January after acquiring Sebastian Giovinco, meaning there was no longer salary room, or a designated player spot to keep the Brazilian on the team.

The club had considered bringing Gilberto back into the fold after a recent MLS rule change would have meant the could have kept him under the cap as a "Core designated player". However, management decided their money would be better allocated in pursuit of help at the back.

That need was at least partially filled earlier this week when Toronto acquired Ahmed Kantari from Ligue 1's RC Lens to play centre back.

Now it appears Toronto will not receive any compensation for Gilberto as they were forced to put him on waivers after his loan with Vasco Da Gama was terminated.

This caps off a strong day of business for Chicago, who were able to acquire a sizable amount of allocation money for the rights to Didier Drogba. This was before they brought in Gilberto for free off of waivers.

The Brazilian comes in with a sizable salary at 1.2 million dollars, but having the extra allocation money and targeted allocation should make that sum very manageable for Chicago.

Gilberto has 28 games of Major League Soccer experience in which time he scored 7 goals and added 5 assists for Toronto FC. It was his consistent effort on a game-by-game basis, however that quickly made him a fan favourite.

Chicago got a first hand look at Gilberto last season as some of his best soccer was played against the Fire. He had a goal and an assist in just two games against them.

There is certain to be plenty of backlash for this move, especially with the fact that Toronto are not expected to receive any compensation for a player that just a year ago they were touting as the "next one".

Gilberto will join Matias Laba on the list of Major League Soccer designated players who have left Toronto as a result of the salary cap. He will be hoping to replicate the success that Laba has had since joining the Vancouver Whitecaps.

In the end, however, Toronto really didn't have much of a choice and it would not have been wise to retain Gilberto just so other clubs couldn't use his talents. Allocating money towards defenders is definitely the bigger near for the club at the moment.

While this marks the end of the Gilberto era in Toronto, for many it ended the day he was sent on loan to Vasco Da Gama as it was pretty clear that his days with the reds were over. His days in North America, however, may just be beginning.