Toronto FC sign Juve’s Giovinco, set to join club after Serie A season

The 27-year-old playmaker is currently in his sixth season with the Turin club.

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Italian international and Juventus playmaker Sebastian Giovinco is officially a member of Toronto FC.

The MLS club announced the signing of the Juventus attacker on Monday, confirming several reports that the 27-year-old was Toronto bound. The Toronto Sun reported that Giovinco signed a five-year deal worth more than $7 million a year. If the figures hold true, Giovinco’s total deal could allow him to surpass Orlando City’s Kaka as the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer.

"Today marks a very special day for Toronto FC with the addition of Sebastian Giovinco. Seba is in the prime of his career and he has chosen to join Toronto FC and MLS at a time when many of the top clubs in the world were pursuing him," TFC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said in a statement. "We are very pleased to bring a fantastic player to Toronto FC for our club and for our fans, especially those in the Italian community."

A versatile attacker that can play several different positions, Giovinco has amassed 21 caps for Italy. Nicknamed "The Atomic Ant" due to his 5-foot-5 frame, Giovinco has been with Juventus since becoming a professional in 2006, although his most prolific season in Serie A came while he was on loan at Parma. In that 2011-12 campaign, Giovinco scored 15 league goals in 36 appearances.

Giovinco returned to Juventus the following year and immediately established himself as a regular with the Bianconeri, however he then fell down back the depth chart of a stacked Juve side over the past two seasons. He heads to Toronto as one of the stars of a revamped TFC roster that includes fellow recent signee Jozy Altidore.

"I am excited to sign with Toronto FC today and look forward to joining the club this summer," Giovinco said. "I have heard so many great things about Toronto over the years and I know that it will be a city that I feel right at home in. Until then, I have many things I still want to accomplish for Juventus and our fans. I will always give my heart and soul for Juve until I change shirts this summer."

Under contract at Juventus until the end of the current Serie A campaign, Giovinco will join TFC when the North American summer transfer window opens in July.

"Adding a player like Sebastian Giovinco will be a major addition to our club," said Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley. "Having played against him many times in Italy, I know what he is capable of. We have added a great playmaker and true talent and I cannot wait for him to join us."

"Today’s signing marks one of the most important moments in Toronto FC history, and as we look forward to the opening of an expanded and improved BMO Field in May, our supporters and partners have made clear this off-season that they are fully behind the vision of this club to be the class of MLS on the pitch and off," said Dave Hopkinson, Chief Commercial Officer for MLSE.

"I am thrilled for Seba and equally as happy for Toronto FC and its fans," said Andrea D’Amico, Giovinco’s representative. "This truly feels like a match that was meant to be and I would like to thank everyone at MLSE that made today possible including the owners, Tim Leiweke and Tim Bezbatchenko. We look forward to an exciting summer and much success for the club."

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