The Chicago Fire won’t be left empty-handed this transfer window.
The club announced on Monday that it has acquired Brazilian forward Gilberto after claiming him off of waivers from Toronto FC. To accommodate Gilberto as a Designated Player on the Fire roster, Targeted Allocation Money was used to lower the budget charge of Kennedy Igboananike, freeing a DP slot. Chicago’s three DPs are now Gilberto, Shaun Maloney and David Accam.
Chicago also announced that they have completed a sign-and-trade deal with the Montreal Impact, acquiring general and Targeted Allocation Money in exchange for Ivorian international Didier Drogba.
“Gilberto is in the prime of his career and can immediately help our club push toward the MLS Cup Playoffs this year and for years to come,” Fire head coach Frank Yallop said in a club statement. “We’ve been tracking Gilberto for some time now and knew he could become available due to Toronto FC’s Designated Player situation. He’s shown he can score goals in this league and we look forward to him joining our club here in Chicago.
“With regards to the trade, we felt this move was in the best interest of our club. We received a significant amount of allocation money from Montreal, giving us the spending flexibility to find another player in this window or down the line. We respect Mr. Drogba’s professionalism throughout this process and wish him luck, but we are excited to welcome Gilberto to the club and move forward toward the MLS Cup Playoffs and the US Open Cup Semifinals.”
Gilberto, 26, signed a Designated Player contract with Toronto FC in December 2013, scoring seven goals in 28 league games for TFC in 2014. He was sent on loan to Brazilian club Vasco da Gama this preseason after TFC brought in Jozy Altidore as a DP, a move that took the club over the three Designated Player maximum and necessitated Gilberto’s departure.
Gilberto’s loan to Vasco da Gama recently ended, once again putting four DPs on TFC's books and forcing the club to place him on waivers. Chicago were first in the waiver draft order, since they are currently in last place in the league-wide standings.