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Rumour: Toronto FC to sign Laurent Ciman

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An old foe could become a friend.

MLS: Montreal Impact at Philadelphia Union Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to several sources, including Taylor Twellman of ESPN and Nicolas Martineau of TVA Sports, Toronto FC may be close to a deal with former Montreal Impact captain Laurent Ciman.

Ciman, a 33-year-old centre-back, began last season with Los Angeles Football Club, making 22 appearances before transferring to Ligue 1’s Dijon in August. He had previously been traded to LA by Montreal in exchange for Raheem Edwards and Jukka Raitala in December 2017.

TFC fans will remember Ciman from some bitter matches with the Impact in both the Canadian Championship and MLS Cup Playoffs. He played three seasons in Montreal, making 85 appearances as the club’s defensive pivot. He was MLS’s Defender of the Year in 2015.

There seemed to be a lot of bad blood on his end, though, after Montreal traded him, as the move apparently took him by surprise. It's also heavily rumoured that his initial move to Montreal was influenced by the access to French-language services for Ciman’s child, who has a disability.

As such, Toronto could be a good fit for his family, since he'll still be close enough to Quebec (or able to access French- language services in Ontario), without having to return to the Impact, with whom he's fallen out.

On the field, this will be a polarizing move for Toronto FC. Ciman is an extremely experienced defender, including some significant spells with the Belgian national team, and he's proven in MLS. However, he's 33, and he was making over $600,000 on his last deal.

If TFC can get him on a paycut, this could be a good fit, since he'll add another Drew Moor-like leadership presence at the back of defence. Ciman is a well- respected player who could definitely bolster TFC’s line, especially if Moor isn't fit enough to start regularly.