Toronto FC looks to make moves as transfer window closes

TORONTO — Toronto FC is in discussions to bring in a player and move another out in advance of Tuesday’s closing of Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window.

General manager Jason Hernandez says the two moves are not related, however.

Hernandez also revealed that the club has made fullback Richie Laryea its third designated player.

While Jonathan Osorio is listed on the club website as a DP, the GM said the club captain had agreed to restructure his contract to fit under the salary cap as a non-designated player.

Under league rules, only US$683,750 of a designated player’s pay counts against the club’s salary budget.

Italians Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi are the team’s other designated players.

Insigne was the league’s second-highest-paid player last season at US$15.4 million while Bernardeschi ranked No. 5 at US$6.295 million.

Osorio’s salary of US$14 million last season was third-highest on the club payroll.

Laryea spent 2023 on loan from England’s Nottingham Forest, first with Toronto and then Vancouver at a salary of $1.436 million, according to the MLS Players Association. TFC reacquired the fullback/wingback in late February.

The price of getting Laryea back was such that the team needed to give him the DP tag to accommodate the “bulk of the transfer fee,” said Hernandez.

Laryea is currently sidelined after undergoing hamstring surgery.

The team does not have to use the DP tag on Osorio and won’t have to use it on Laryea either after this season, he added. so the club will have an open designated player spot next year,

Asked to characterize the player the club is targeting to bring in, Hernandez said he would be similar to Honduran midfielder Deybi Flores who signed in January — someone at the right age and with the right pedigree who can be a “core starter.”

While he declined to detail what position the player, he noted the cost of bringing in an elite striker and said the club is not looking to bring in a new designated player in the next 36 hours.

Toronto which finished bottom of the league last season at 4-20-10, currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference at 4-4-1 under John Herdman.

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