A little more smoke rose yesterday from a Toronto FC transfer story that appeared to have died in January. Striker Marco Borriello was again linked to the club, after being reported as a possible transfer target during the winter window.
Reports suggest that both the New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC are interested in the striker, who is currently playing for Atalanta in the Serie A. Anthony Totera of Red Card Radio has been reporting the club's interest in Borriello for months. The Italian striker is out of contract this summer, meaning an MLS club could pick him up on a free transfer.
As I mentioned here a couple months back it seems like TFC and Redbulls could make a push for Borriello scoring help both teams need #TFC— A. Totera (@4totera) April 19, 2016
Italian reports say that Toronto FC and New York Red Bulls scouts were at an Atalanta match recently to watch the 33-year-old Borriello play. The match in question was this past weekend's 3-3 draw between Atalanta and Roma. Borriello had a pair of goals, giving his side the lead before Francesco Totti equalized late.
From an on-field standpoint, both Toronto FC and Red Bull make sense as a possible destination for Borriello. Both teams have had scoring struggles to start the 2016 MLS season. The New York Red Bulls have scored the fewest goals in the league this season, with five in seven matches. Toronto FC is tied for second last with four other teams who have only scored six times. TFC has played six matches so far this season.
For Toronto FC, the issue is compounded by the fact that both Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco are expected to play for their respective countries this summer. The Atomic Ant has been involved in all six goals that Toronto FC has scored this season, finishing four of them himself.
The issue with the rumour is obvious: the club does not have enough cap space to afford Borriello. A player with his resume is likely to command a sizeable salary. Toronto FC encountered this issue when trying to bring in Canadian international Tosaint Ricketts earlier this month.
In order for the club to make room for Borriello, a player, or potentially multiple players, are going to have to move. The most likely transfer would see one of the club's young defenders join a new club, such as Eriq Zavaleta or Nick Hagglund who spent time with Toronto FC II this past weekend. But neither of those players have large salaries.
Borriello has scored seven goals in all competitions between Carpi and Atalanta this season. He has also added three assists.