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Report: Toronto FC after Uruguayan teenage star

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The Reds are linked to the young winger

FBL-URU-PENAROL-NACIONALURU Photo by EITAN ABRAMOVICH/AFP via Getty Images

Another possible signing for Toronto FC has emerged over the last few days.

According to several reports, the Reds are interested in 18-year-old winger Facundo Pellistri. Pellistri, who only turned 18 in December, is currently playing for Uruguayan side Penarol. He made his first team debut for the side in August 2019, and has made 20 appearances in all competitions for them since.

He seems to be a decent dribbler, and able to pick out teammates with key passes, judging from this YouTube video:

According to the MLS report, “Pellistri has shown a diverse skillset primarily on both wings, working to win the ball defensively, sometimes deep in his defensive third, cut inside to combine with teammates, take defenders on and is a threat in the box with both feet.”

If TFC do sign Pellistri, who is also linked with larger clubs like Atletico Madrid and Boca Juniors, he would likely join the Reds as a Young Designated Player, meaning his salary budget charge would be only $150,000 — substantially less than the $550,000+ of a standard Designated Player (DP). (Note: Young DPs are still considered to be one of the team’s three DPs, so Pellistri would potentially be joining Jozy Altidore and Alejandro Pozuelo.)

Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis was in South America and Europe recently looking for potential DPs after captain Michael Bradley agreed to take a pay cut to open up another DP slot.

Penarol are reportedly in no hurry to part with the young talent, however, with one report indicating the team would like to retain him until at least the middle of 2020.