After weeks of speculation, Toronto FC has completed the signing of Federico Bernardeschi on a free transfer.
“We are thrilled to add Federico to our team,” said Toronto FC President Bill Manning.
“As a player and a person, we believe he’s exactly what we need right now, both on the field and in the locker room. Federico has proven himself to be a champion and a leader at Juventus and for the Italian national team and brings a pedigree to Toronto that’s second to none.”
The Italy international joins the Reds after five seasons with Juventus, putting pen to paper on a deal through 2026.
Despite interest from the likes of Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and AS Roma, it is Toronto FC who has sealed the deal to bring yet another Serie A star to MLS.
Moreover, Bernardeschi becomes the third Italian to sign for TFC in 2022, joining Lorenzo Insigne and Domenico Criscito.
According to various reports, the winger will earn roughly €5 million net per season, thus occupying one of Toronto FC’s two vacant Designated Player slots.
With the transfer now complete, Toronto FC will be the first non-Italian club on Bernardeschi’s resume following his spells at Fiorentina, Crotone (loan), and Juventus.
Having made his professional debut while on loan at Crotone in Serie B during the 2013-14 campaign, Bernardeschi made his bow in Italy’s top flight with Fiorentina a year later. He then featured 41 times in all competitions in La Viola’s 2015-16 season.
A stellar 2016-17 campaign with Fiorentina saw the Italian score 14 goals in all competitions, his career high to date. Juventus then came calling and signed the winger for €40 million ahead of the 2017-18 season.
In his five years with the Old Lady, Bernardeschi made 183 appearances, scoring 12 goals and assisting 24. He also got his hands on seven major honours, including three Serie A titles.
The 28-year-old endured a tough 2021-22 campaign at the club level, scoring just twice in 36 appearances in all competitions.
On the international stage, Bernardeschi has played 39 times for Gil Azzurri and was a part of the squad that won the 2020 UEFA European Championship. The winger came off the bench in the 86th minute of the final at Wembley and would go on to score Italy’s fourth spot-kick in the penalty shootout that saw Bernardeschi and his compatriots emerge victorious over England.
Now, Toronto FC fans can begin to look forward to a mouthwatering front three of Insigne, Jesús Jiménez, and Bernardeschi.
“Having met with Federico a couple of weeks ago, we think he’s a great fit for what we’re trying to build here at TFC and look forward to getting him on the field,” said Bob Bradley.
“He’s an attacking player who is also known for working hard for the team. Federico’s a left footed player who’s comfortable playing on the right wing but can also slide into a central position when needed.”
Ultimately, more pieces are coming together in the Reds’ steady rebuild. With the business end of the season looming, Bernardeschi will hope that he can help steer his new teammates into the playoffs come October.