TORONTO – With the MLS international summer transfer window now closed, Toronto FC president and general manager Kevin Payne had a simple messages for fans who expected the announcement of a Designated Player-quality signing this week:
Reinforcements are still on the way.
“We had a couple of targets for the transfer window and one in particular that we pursued until very late and it didn’t come together,” Payne told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “It was a pretty ambitious signing. That didn’t happen, but I want people to know that we are still working on two big signings that are not affected by the transfer window.”
“We still believe that there will be some significant news, probably one announcement within a week and another one within two weeks. Both of the players that we are still pursuing are big signings who will have a dramatic effect on our club for a long time to come.”
With Toronto FC attached to a number of big name players in recent weeks, Payne was plain in stating that the organization has to be deliberate and patient with any new signings so as to not repeat mistakes that have been made with previous acquisitions.
“We’re not going to rush into things,” Payne said. “If I was worried only about [signing players in order to make an announcement for the fans], we could have signed players. But we might then be sitting here a year later and saying, ‘Why did we do that? Why didn’t we wait for this other guy?’ The fans should not be worried.”
The fact that Toronto have lacked depth in terms of attacking options all season long has only exacerbated the desire of both the club brass and supporters to bring in forward options that can make an immediate impact. Add to the fact that they'll be facing the Seattle Sounders on Saturday (7 pm ET; MLS Live), who just made a few headlines with a high-profile signing of their own, and the clock would seem to be ticking.
At the same time, however, those types of players are often the ones that require the most complex deals to acquire.
“We wanted to get guys in two weeks ago so they could help us to win games, but it’s much more about the next 4-5 years,” Payne said. “Our fans should be comforted by the fact that we are going to get some signings done and we are going to spend quite a bit of money on those signings. I think when they occur the fans will be really excited.”
One player who it appears Toronto are still hopeful of signing is 22-year-old Argentine striker Maximiliano Urruti, who has been on the club’s radar for months now. Reports out of Argentina have suggested that Urruti has endeavored to leave his current club, Newell’s Old Boys, due to unpaid wages.
“We’re monitoring the situation [with Urruti],” Payne said. “Anything is possible. I can’t comment too much on that one.”