With the departure of Mariano Mino and Ager Aketxe, Toronto FC has two international slots open on its roster, and coach Greg Vanney says the team is in transfer talks.
But the fit has to be right, given that the MLS champions are finally getting healthy after an injury-ravaged stretch.
The only starter still missing is veteran defender Drew Moor (quad), and he is getting close to returning.
“We’re active. We’re in conversations with potential players to come,” Vanney said after practice on Tuesday. “We’re trying to be very specific.
“Obviously Ager isn’t here because he wasn’t the specific guy we need in this moment. And so we’re trying to be specific about who we get and what type of player we can get. And if we can get one of these deals across the line, then we’ll have someone that we’ll bring in.
“And if we can’t, our transfer window is the fact we’re getting lot of guys back that we haven’t had all season. For us, it’s not vital, but it’s for sure something we’re trying to accomplish for the right piece.”
The league’s secondary transfer window closes Aug. 8. The primary window ran Feb. 7 to May 1.
While teams can announce incoming transfers and trades outside of the transfer windows, a player cannot officially be added to a club’s roster until his international transfer certificate is transferred, which must happen within one of the two transfer windows.
Aketxe has been loaned back to Cadiz. The 24-year-old Spaniard, whose TFC salary was listed at a pricey US$1.3-million, never bedded in with the team and had just one assist in 14 combined appearances in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play.
Mino, a 24-year-old Argentine, made just one appearance.
With its roster restored to health, Toronto has few holes although one can make the case for another attacking midfielder who could step in for playmaker Victor Vazquez or play higher up if strikers Jozy Altidore or Sebastian Giovinco can’t go.
Toronto (6-11-4) is six points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but has won its last four games in all competitions.