Juventus playmaker Sebastian Giovinco could become the highest paid player in MLS history if he joins Toronto FC.
According to reports from John Molinaro of SportsNet.ca, Toronto are set to follow up the signing of former Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore with the capture of the Italian international Giovinco, with the Juve wizard looking set to agree a deal with TFC by the end of this week.
$7million a Year
The Toronto Sun have taken this story even further however, and have claimed that Giovinco would become the highest paid player in the history of Major League Soccer with his four-year-deal to star in Toronto.
From Kurtis Larsun's report earlier:
Giovinco's base salary will come in at $7 million annually for five years, with marketing of "less than a million," according to an MLS source in the position to know.
That should push the 27-year-old's annual deal above Orlando City's Kaka, who is being paid $7.17 million, according to recent numbers released by the MLS Players' Union.
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If Toronto do give Giovinco that kind of money then they will certainly be hoping that he sticks around longer than Jermain Defoe did in the Great White North. Defoe moved to Sunderland as part of a swap deal involving Altidore but only lasted one season in Toronto thanks to various excuses that include homesickness, injury, harsh words from TFC fans and how playing in MLS affected his chances of getting into the England squad.
Defoe was earning $6million a year in Toronto, while Toronto teammates Michael Bradley and Altidore are currently making $6.5m and $5m a year respectively. Giovinco's signing would give TFC four designated players which isn't allowed, so it seems that Brazilian striker Gilberto will either be shipped out or have his wages reduced to a Non-DP level.
The Atomic Ant
Giovinco - known as 'The Atomic Ant' in his native Italy - has struggled to get into the Juventus team of late and has been looking for a way out after it became obvious he wouldn't be able to break into Max Allegri's first team plans.
Giovinco recorded 12 goals in 91 Serie A appearances for Juve and has also scored one goal in 21 games for Italy, playing for his country at Euro 2012 when the Azzurri lost to Spain in the final, and at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. He missed out on representing Italy at the World Cup in Brazil.