The Montreal Impact’s back line is close to securing a much-needed reinforcement, as the club announced on Tuesday that Italian international defender Matteo Ferrari, currently a free agent, will join the team’s training camp in Los Angeles.
A deal between Ferrari and MLS has yet to be inked, but the Impact and the player are hopeful that the signing will be made official sooner rather than later.
“He’d been on our radar before and there was interest from both parties,” Montreal head coach Jesse Marsch told MLSsoccer.com over the phone from LA. “[Impact owner] Joey Saputo and [sporting director] Nick de Santis had good discussions with him, and we’re very happy that he’s a part of our group. It was a great opportunity to add a quality player and see if he’s the right fit.”
Ferrari, a 32-year-old center back, was capped 11 times by Italy from 2002 to '04. He was also a member of the Italian team that won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics. At club level, Ferrari most notably played Champions League soccer with AS Roma and Besiktas. His name also appears on three Italian Cups – twice with Roma and once with Parma.
Saputo had indicated on Monday that the club had found a footballer that had played for his national team and at a high level in Europe, and that he would join the Impact on the West Coast.
The Impact owner also mentioned the new recruit would not be be the Designated Player with whom the Impact had discussions in Europe, and further explained explained a press release that Montreal “will not be making any announcements before the month of May because the summer transfer window only opens on July 1.”
For Marsch, the wait just means the Impact are taking their time to weigh their options and find the best man for the job.
“We are committed, as a club, to bringing in the right kind of people, and there’s a lot of potential good fits out there,” Marsch said. “It’s important to establish good relationships with players and their representatives as well as the clubs and their representatives.”
Martín Galván leaves camp
Young Mexican forward Martin Galván had his eyes set on a move to MLS, but that will have to wait. A mere six days after joining the Impact on trial, he has left the club’s training camp.
Galván played 30 minutes against the LA Blues last Thursday and showed a hint of class as he hit the crossbar with an audacious lob, but Marsch indicated afterwards that the speed and the style of play was “a lot for Galván to get used to.”