Reports: Chicago Fire trying to buy out striker Gilberto's contract

UPDATE

June 25, 2016 | 6:30 p.m. ET

With the Chicago Fire on a bye, Orrin Schwarz of the Daily Herald caught up with Gilberto, and indicated progress toward a resolution for the Brazilian striker:

Original Text

Gilberto’s days as a member of the Chicago Fire appear to be numbered.

Guillermo Rivera of Fire Confidential reported on Tuesday that it’s unlikely that the Brazilian Designated Player will return to the club when they resume training next Monday after taking this week off as part of MLS’s Copa America break. Orrin Schwarz of the Daily Herald confirmed Rivera’s report later on Tuesday evening.

According to Rivera, Chicago are in the process of “negotiating a departure and possible buy out” of Gilberto’s contract, which is set to expire after this season.

Gilberto was not on the gameday roster for Chicago’s 1-1 draw with Portland last Saturday. Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic told reporters following the match that Gilberto had asked for and been granted personal time off two days prior to the game, but that he expected the 26-year-old forward to be back with the club when the Fire returned to training following their break.

Gilberto joined Toronto FC ahead of the 2014 season, and scored seven goals and tallied five assists in 28 league appearances in his lone season with the Canadian club. He was sent on loan to Brazilian club Vasco de Gama after TFC signed Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore last winter, then was acquired by the Fire as part of the transaction that saw Didier Drogba sign with Montreal last July.

He had five goals and two assists in 10 league appearances with Chicago last year. He’s been hobbled a bit by injuries this season, and has no goals and two assists in nine MLS games played.