The future of on-loan Toronto FC forward João Plata hangs in the balance as the Reds mull their options over, and if a tweet from his agent is to be believed, he could be headed to Real Salt Lake.
The diminutive Ecuadorian's loan contract with Liga de Quito expired at the end of the 2012 Ecuadorian season, and his former club is indicating that Toronto will soon decide his future, whether it is to remain with the Canadian club or move on elsewhere.
“[Plata’s] relationship with Liga [de Quito] ended after the Ecuadorian championship finished last year," Liga de Quito spokesman Esteban Paz told FutbolMLS.com. "He will be back to Toronto to talk about his future. As far as I know, there are many interested teams in him.”
Earl Cochrane, Toronto's director of team and player operations, confirmed that the Reds are still discussing the possibility of bringing Plata back for the 2013 season after he spent the second half of 2012 in Ecuador.
“We haven’t agreed to anything yet," Cochrane explained to FutbolMLS.com. "We’re still having conversations. Right now Plata remains in Ecuador, but his loan is expired. If he comes back to the team, it will be when we all travel to Florida [for preseason], because it doesn’t make any sense for him to come to Toronto right now."
In addition to remaining in Toronto or the previously-discussed possibility of moving to another South American team, it appears that there could be interest in Plata from within MLS. His agent revealed via Twitter that the attacker is "very close to joining Real Salt Lake":
@joaoplata10 muy cerca de Real Salt Lake, hoy se confirma.— Gustavo Lescovich (@guslescovich) January 24, 2013
RSL declined to comment on the matter, adding that they refused to speculate on the potential future of a player currently under contract to another MLS team.
Plata was the center of confusion in July 2012 when he suddenly traveled to Ecuador to join Liga de Quito, where he made his professional debut in 2010. According to Plata, then-coach of Toronto FC Paul Mariner had left him out of his plans following the dismissal of Aron Winter, though the player had traveled to Ecuador prior to the two teams reaching an agreement.