TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Reports
Toronto FC are close to signing Italy national team attacking midfielder Federico Bernardeschi as he departs Serie A powerhouse side Juventus, according to numerous reports Tuesday.
The links come amid Toronto’s trade of midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, to Inter Miami CF in exchange for a guaranteed $150,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) and other terms. That move opens a Designated Player spot for the Reds, who are undergoing a near-complete roster transformation in head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley’s first year at the helm.
Bernardeschi would arrive via a free transfer, according to ESPN’s Taylor Twellman, while The Parleh’s Michael Singh notes the 28-year-old will be a DP for Toronto. Currently, Italy star forward Lorenzo Insigne (arrived from Napoli) and Mexican center back Carlos Salcedo (signed from Liga MX’s Tigres in the offseason) are their other DPs.
Bernardeschi would be the third Euro 2020 winner to arrive in MLS this summer, following Insigne and LAFC center back Giorgio Chiellini. They all played in the final for Italy, which the Azzurri won in penalty kicks over England.
Capable of playing on either wing or centrally, Bernardeschi has spent his entire professional career in Italy. He helped Juventus win three Serie A titles, logging 12 goals and 24 assists across 183 appearances. Other stops are boyhood club Fiorentina and a loan stint at Crotone.
With six goals and six assists across 38 appearances for Italy, Bernardeschi would continue an influx of high-level, international-caliber talent to MLS in recent transfer windows. And he’d be Toronto’s third Italian newcomer this summer, joining Insigne in the attack. Their other addition in that mold is defender Domenico Criscito, a former Genoa captain.
Toronto, MLS Cup winners in 2017, have leaned heavily on youngsters in anticipation of big moves in the Secondary Transfer Window (runs July 7 to Aug. 4). That has them 13th in the Eastern Conference standings, chasing an Audi MLS Cup Playoffs return as a second-half surge loads up.