Rumor: Sebastian Giovinco to Portland?

by Charlie Folkestad

The Portland Timbers are interested in former MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, per Gianluca Di Marzio of Sky Sports.

“A concrete negotiation could start soon,” the translated article reads.

Giovinco, who will turn 35 later this month, spent his last two seasons at Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia. His contract reached a mutual termination last August.

Giovinco in MLS

Giovinco shined in MLS after leaving Juventus for Toronto FC.

The attacking midfielder burst onto the scene in 2015, winning MLS MVP, MLS Newcomer of the Year, and the MLS Golden Boot. He also led the Reds to a Canadian treble (MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, Canadian Cup) in 2016.

The Italian played 142 matches for Toronto FC across all competitions from 2015-18, bagging 83 goals and 57 assists during that span. He is considered a TFC club legend and was named one of MLS’ top 25 players of all-time last season.

MLS interest

The former Juventus player has been flirting with an MLS return for a while now.

Last month, he expressed interest in returning to Toronto during an exclusive interview with Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star. He even attended a TFC match. However, Toronto signed Serie A star Lorenzo Insigne instead.

The former Juventus player was also linked to the Los Angeles Galaxy about a year ago.

Timbers’ need

From a roster standpoint, this makes sense. The Timbers may need to fill a playmaking midfield spot soon, unless they can re-sign Sebastián Blanco. Portland are set to lose Diego Valeri from the same position as well.

The Timbers have one Designated Player roster spot open without Blanco. Giovinco wanted to be a DP in a Toronto return.

Blanco removed the Timbers from his Instagram bio yesterday amid a lengthy offseason negotiation saga.

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