CF Montréal midfielder Victor Wanyama won't return for 2023

Victor Wanyama

CF Montréal midfielder and captain Victor Wanyama won’t be back for the 2023 MLS season, he confirmed in a Tuesday media availability.

The former Kenya national team captain has been CFM’s sole Designated Player this year, helping steer the club toward possibly the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Heading into a Decision Day matchup at Inter Miami CF on Sunday (2:30 pm ET), they're in second place and hot on the Philadelphia Union's tail after losing just once since mid-July (10W-1L-3D stretch).

"At the end of the season, I think I will leave,” Wanyama said at training. “I’ve had great years here, I’ve enjoyed being part of the team. It’s been great."

“End of the season I’ll be free to leave," he added. "As long as I’m here now, my aim is to focus on the games and make sure we finish well. And then from there, I can have the chance to say goodbye."

Wanyama joined Montréal ahead of the 2020 campaign, arriving from English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur on a three-year contract. He had been with Tottenham since 2016, with prior stops at Southampton, Celtic and Beerschot across Europe.

The 31-year-old has five goals and seven assists in 79 games (77 starts) during his Montréal career, offering a veteran presence as they’ve transitioned from the Thierry Henry era to current manager Wilfried Nancy.

CFM are already set to lose midfielder Djordje Mihailovic this winter, as he’ll join Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar in Holland. There’s also reportedly widespread interest in midfielder Ismaël Koné, who is set to represent Canada at the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

Whether it's two or three starting midfielders who depart, Montréal are bound to have a new-look group during the 2023 campaign as Wanyama's time in Québec winds down.