MONTREAL – The Montreal Impact are tapping into a familiar source for some help along the backline.
Impact technical director Adam Braz told reporters on Tuesday that Montreal are on the verge of acquiring Romanian defender Deian Boldor from Serie A club Bologna. Impact owner Joey Saputo also owns Bologna, and Montreal have mined the club for several important signings – including Blerim Dzemaili and Matteo Mancosu – in recent seasons.
A left-footed center back, Boldor, 22, spent the 2016-17 season on loan from Bologna to Serie B club Hellas Verona, where he made 10 appearances across all competitions. Braz, who acquired Jamaican international left back Shaun Francis in a trade with San Jose on Thursday, said he hopes to announce Boldor’s signing in the next few days.
"So left back was definitely a priority when Ambroise [Oyongo] went down injured and we knew it was a long-term injury," Braz said. "So that was important that we took care of that as quickly as possible. You know, a left-footed center back was another profile that we were looking at and we're happy to be close to finalizing it and hopefully we'll be able to announce something in the next couple of days.”
Just as notably, the Impact are on the verge of getting star attacker Ignacio Piatti back from injury.
Montreal head coach Mauro Biello said before practice on Tuesday that Piatti is on track to return on Saturday when the Impact host FC Dallas at Stade Saputo (7:30 pm ET | TVA Sports in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US). The Argentine is close enough in his recovery from an adductor injury he sustained on June 27 that Biello said he would have probably chosen to dress him for Montreal's game against Philadelphia on Wednesday night "if it was a final" (7:30 pm ET | TVA Sports in Canada, MLS LIVE in the US).
"We've got to be careful with him, but he's trained well, he's shown a lot of good things in terms of high intensity running in his rehab," Biello said.
Braz said that the additions may not stop with Boldor, telling reporters that the Impact are actively searching for players “to continue to upgrade the squad.” One player who won’t be joining? Free agent Dutch international Wesley Sneijder, who Montreal were rumored to have made an offer for earlier this month.
Braz shot down those reports on Tuesday, and said Montreal doesn’t intend to add a third DP before the transfer window closes next month.
"We were never in the conversation on [Sneijder]," he said.