TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing
Toronto FC have signed Italian international winger Federico Bernardeschi as a Designated Player through 2026, the club announced Friday.
Bernardeschi fills a DP spot in Toronto alongside international teammate Lorenzo Insigne; they won a Euro 2020 title together alongside LAFC defender Giorgio Chiellini. Bernardeschi and Chiellini both arrive in MLS this summer after playing for Juventus, while Insigne was last at Napoli – two of Serie A’s most storied clubs.
Bernardeschi was a free agent after leaving Juventus. The Reds still have an open DP spot, it should be noted.
“We are thrilled to add Federico to our team,” TFC president Bill Manning said in a release. “As a player and a person, we believe he’s exactly what we need right now, both on the field and in the locker room. Federico has proven himself to be a champion and a leader at Juventus and for the Italian national team and brings a pedigree to Toronto that’s second to none."
The 28-year-old had 12 goals and 24 assists in 183 all-competition appearances for Juventus, where he won seven titles. He’s also played for Fiorentina and Crotone in his home country.
Bernardeschi has earned 38 caps and scored six goals for Italy. In the Euro 2020 final (played in 2021), he scored the game-winning penalty in the Azzurri's shootout victory over England.
“Having met with Federico a couple of weeks ago, we think he’s a great fit for what we’re trying to build here at TFC and look forward to getting him on the field,” TFC head coach and sporting director Bob Bradley said in a release. “He’s an attacking player who is also known for working hard for the team. Federico’s a left-footed player who’s comfortable playing on the right wing but can also slide into a central position when needed.”
This move is the latest in Toronto’s incredibly busy Secondary Transfer Window after Insigne, defender Domenico Criscito (free; last at Genoa) and Canadian international midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye (trade from Colorado Rapids) have all joined.
As for outgoings, they opened DP spots after mutually agreeing to a contract termination with Mexican international defender Carlos Salcedo and by trading midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo, the 2020 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, to Inter Miami CF.
Toronto, in their first year under Bradley, sit 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. They’re seven points below the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs line with a 5W-11L-4D record (19 points).