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Sebastian Giovinco insists Toronto FC contract situation not affecting his form

Oct 15, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) greets a youg fan after a win over the Montreal Impact at BMO Field. Toronto defeated Montreal 1-0. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Giovinco has made his position clear.

Toronto FC’s star forward told the Toronto Sun in April that he considered it a “little bit” of a problem that the club was not ready to discuss a potential extension to his contract, which expires at the end of 2019.

“I want to stay here forever,” Giovinco said.

It’s not difficult to figure out why TFC may want to take things more slowly. Giovinco is the highest-paid player in MLS. He turned 31 in January. And a lot can change in the 18-month term he has left.

The challenge will be keeping the Atomic Ant happy in the meantime. After a series of outstanding displays in the Concacaf Champions League, Giovinco has cooled off: he has only two goals in the league this season and one came from the penalty spot.

He insists the element of doubt lingering over his future, though, is not a factor.

“For me, nothing changes,” Giovinco said Thursday. “I play to win. I play to improve my level. And that’s it. I don’t think about this.”

On the subject of his goalscoring, the former Juventus star remains confident. “It’s coming,” he added.

Toronto could certainly use a flurry in the coming weeks. The Reds are now nine points adrift of the final Eastern Conference playoff spot and will play seven of their next nine games on the road.

“Sometimes yes, sometimes no,” Giovinco said of whether he thought the team was playing to its potential. “We have our faults. The club has their faults. Everybody [has] faults this year, so we have to try to cancel what we do at the beginning and try to look forward.

“Part of the problem is in the attacking side. Jozy [Altidore] is out. I don’t score too many goals. So I think this is part of the problem. I don’t know [if we’re close]. But, for sure, we have to improve. We have to believe in what we do in the week and try to make the results.”

Giovinco also addressed his penalty record, which has been patchy at best of late.

After netting eight of the first nine penalties he took in MLS games, the Italian has missed two of his past six — with the latest saved by Jesse González in TFC’s 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas.

Giovinco aimed each of his first 10 penalties to the goalkeeper’s right, with nine of them shot low to almost exactly the same spot. But since Real Salt Lake’s penalty specialist Nick Rimando stopped the 10th, he has started to vary his shots. Inconsistency has been the result.

“I don’t know,” he said when asked if there was a reason behind the changes. “I don’t know what I think. I think I don’t have to think — this is the problem.”

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