TORONTO, Canada—It looks like Rafael Santos Borré won’t be Toronto FC’s newest designated player after all.
According to Argentinean reporter César Luis Merlo, Borré has decided to depart River Plate at the end of his contract in June and join Brazillian side Gremio. The 25-year-old striker will join on a five-year deal with financial terms still to be worked out.
Rafael Santos Borré decidió aceptar la oferta de #Gremio.— César Luis Merlo (@CLMerlo) March 26, 2021
*️⃣El delantero se quedará en #River hasta el 30 de junio y se irá libre.
*️⃣Firmará por 5 años y el delantero y su agente trabajan para que le quede un resarcimiento al "Millonario". Vía @presionalta pic.twitter.com/th5WKvY1Z3
Borré was linked to TFC early and often this offseason, however, Toronto’s interest was never confirmed by the club.
Though after Team President Bill Manning’s appearance on Waking the Red Weekly this past Tuesday, Borré’s move to a different club should come as little surprise for fans.
“We want to make sure when we’re going to spend millions of dollars—and in some cases 10s of millions of dollars—you know, that’s a heavy decision. We want to make sure it’s right,” said Manning. “The good thing right now is that the window is extended. We have time. We’re able to see more action and more games. And then there’s a secondary window not long after, and as we know, Nico Lodeiro came in the summer window and good players have come into the league in that summer window.
“We’re not going to rush ourselves. We’re going to make sure we make the right DP signing.”
Manning also touched on how difficult it was to get a read on players during a pandemic, making signings that much more challenging.
“It’s been brutal, to tell you the truth,” said Manning. “We in the past brought players to see our training ground. We’ve brought them to Toronto. They get an opportunity to see what we’re all about. We visit them. We go. We meet them in person. We sometimes meet with the club, and we can’t do that now where we are. And that’s actually been the most difficult thing: we can’t see these players live.”
While Manning spoke candidly on WTR Weekly, the one thing the Toronto FC front office hasn’t been willing to do is comment on specific transfer rumours that hover over the club.
“Don’t believe all the rumours,” cautioned Manning. “I do believe that when we do make this acquisition and when we do get started see some of these young players emerge, people will get a bit more comfortable with the strategy here.”
As mentioned in my latest TFC Notebook, while I suspect Borré was one of the names that Toronto FC were interested in to fulfill that third designated player slot, he certainly wasn’t the only one that the Reds are considering.
Whoever that player is that does end up coming in—whether that be later in the primary transfer window or the summer—expect them to be in a similar calibre as their reigning MVP Alejandro Pozuelo, because that is the bar.
Get comfortable, #TFCLive. The search continues!