TORONTO, Canada—It looks like that Sebastian Giovinco-Toronto FC reunion will have to be put on hold as multiple reports have indicated that the ‘Italian Stallion’ is heading back to Serie A and will join Sampdoria.
Giovinco, 35, was with Toronto FC for the first part of the Reds’ preseason camp as he was invited to train with the club, much to the surprise of TFC fans. It started to make sense, however, as Bill Manning had mentioned to The Toronto Sun that Giovinco had voiced that he wanted to retire as a Red and money was no longer a factor — a major sticking point that was deterring the two parties from finalizing an agreement earlier this offseason.
But things can change very quickly, and according to Fabrizio Romano, Giovinco will sign with Sampdoria on Monday.
Sebastian Giovinco will sign his contract as new Sampdoria player on Monday. Deal verbally agreed - Giovinco will be in Genova in the coming hours. @SkySport #Transfers— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) February 7, 2022
No MLS comeback - he's re joining Serie A. pic.twitter.com/7MG6UUZphj
According to a source within Toronto FC, the move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Giovinco was supposedly set to continue preseason with the Reds as they depart to Austin, Texas for the second part of their training camp. TFC are in Toronto currently after a stint in California and will travel to Austin on Monday.
“Seba’s come in with a really good mentality. Obviously, he hadn’t played last May, so he keeps himself fit, but there’s a big difference between the kind of fitness work he was doing to look good and still be able to train right away, but that’s difference than the kind of sharpness and overall fitness you see from him when he’s at his best,” said Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley last week.
“I love the way he’s gone about training sessions; you can still see in certain moments some of the qualities that have always made him special, and we’re still trying to figure out the best situation. We talk often times as players move on in careers, what are they looking for? And I talked a little bit about this with Seba the other day, but I think he loves Toronto, I think he loves the idea of what’s going on still with this club and this team, and so we’ll see if there’s something that fits for both sides.”
The deal was said to come together quickly as Sampdoria are in need of reinforcements after striker Manolo Gabbiadini suffered a serious injury. The Italian club is in the midst of a relegation battle — five points clear of the danger zone — as they look to stay up in Serie A.
Reports indicate that Giovinco is signing a six-month contract with Sampdoria, until the end of the season. If true, that means the possibility of returning to Toronto in the summer is still on the table, however, I’m told it’s too early to speculate whether or not that will actually come to fruition.