MONTREAL – Ignacio Piatti is coming to Montreal. And what’s more, it’s earlier than expected.
According to Impact owner Joey Saputo, his club's new Designated Player will be in Montreal next week despite early indications that his arrival from Argentinean club San Lorenzo could be delayed until mid-to-late August.
Piatti’s signing was announced on July 2, along with an agreement between San Lorenzo and Montreal that would let him complete San Lorenzo’s 2014 Copa Libertadores run. Piatti’s team advanced to the final against Paraguayan side Nacional despite losing 1-0 to Bolívar Wednesday night, winning the two-legged semifinal tie 5-1 on aggregate.
San Lorenzo will pursue South American club glory through the second leg of the final on August 13, a full week after the second registration window closes on August 6. The Impact tried to get a special exemption from FIFA to register Piatti outside of the window, but it appears they have been denied.
“What FIFA told us is that it’s something they’ve never done,” Saputo told reporters on Wednesday. So it would be very tough for him to get an exemption, and his club, San Lorenzo, know it. They don’t have a choice; he has to come here before August 7. I don’t know if he plays on August 6, but honestly, I don’t think so. He’ll be here before the window closes.”
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Piatti’s determination to play the Libertadores was a major factor in the transfer negotiations, Saputo said. This is the first-ever final played by San Lorenzo, They lost in the semifinals in 1988, when they were eliminated by Newell’s Old Boys.
“It’s something that’s important not only to the player, but also for the team,” Saputo said. “That’s why we renegotiated his contract, and we got certain things in exchange for that.”
As Saputo’s press conference ended with these very words, MLSsoccer.com reached out for clarification on Wednesday afternoon, but the terms of the Piatti deal remain confidential.