VANCOUVER, B.C. – Could last year's MLS Golden Boot winner Camilo Sanvezzo be set for a shock return to Major League Soccer?
It may seem unlikely following the disharmonious way he left Vancouver Whitecaps while still under contract to join Mexican Liga MX side Querétaro FC in January, but speculation has been rife the last couple of days that a return could be in the cards in the summer transfer window.
"It's difficult for me to talk about Camilo," Whitecaps coach Carl Robinson told reporters on Monday afternoon when asked about the mounting speculation. "He's under contract at the moment to Querétaro. As far as I'm concerned at the moment, he is on the list, but he's one of a number of five or six players that are on a list of potential players.
"Same as when we signed Pedro Morales. It was five or six players that we were looking at getting and you've got to narrow that list down. His name has been brought up, but I could give you another four names that I think would slightly intrigue you a little bit more."
With Vancouver receiving a "multimillion-dollar" fee for the striker back in January, the mechanisms for Camilo's possible return to the league are still unclear.
Querétaro have been plagued by financial problems this year, with players not being paid at one point, and there has never been any official confirmation as to how much of the transfer fee the Whitecaps have actually received so far.
Replacing Camilo's 22 goals from last year was never going to be an easy feat for Robinson, but his team has risen to the challenge. Eight players have found the score sheet for the 'Caps so far this season, the highest of any side in the league, but Robinson is continuing to look at attacking options to replace the departed Kenny Miller.
"Whether it's Camilo or whoever, we need another option. It's to help and supplement the strength of what these [young] guys have," Robinson said. "I've said all along that we need someone maybe that can score goals. We've got players that are able to score, but we haven't got a goal scorer. If that player becomes available then we'll certainly look at it.”
Camilo would certainly fit the bill, if he was to become available. That's still a big if.
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The 25-year-old Brazilian is on a three-year contract with his new club and his agent, Lucas Teixeira, made it clear over the weekend that his client is not desperate for a return to Vancouver and MLS and that no deal is currently in the works.
As history has previously shown regarding Camilo, such comments can mean little.
Robinson appears open to any return and there is no doubt that Camilo would help the Whitecaps attack, but the first-year head coach warned that any new addition to the club has to be the right fit.
"I don't want to be the manager of this club and it's standing still," Robinson said. "You can't do that in modern day football. You're always looking, you're always trying to evolve the team, but if it was ever going to disrupt the harmony of the group then I would not do it.
"Whether it's Camilo or anyone else, I need to make sure that the due diligence is done on that player so that he helps the group and doesn't hinder it."