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Al-Hilal, Toronto FC reportedly negotiate Sebastian Giovinco transfer

Mar 7, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, USA; Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco (10) dribbles the ball upfield against Tigres UANL in the second half of their CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final game at BMO Field. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The weekend did nothing to quell rumors that emerged late last week about Sebastian Giovinco potentially leaving Toronto FC to join Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal.

Some foreign outlets – including Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport – are reporting the Atomic Ant could leave Major League Soccer in the near future.

Al-Hilal, the two-time reigning Saudi league champion, would have to pay a transfer fee to make the signing, though La Gazzetta dello Sport’s Nicolo Schiarra took to Twitter on Monday to report negotiations with Toronto are underway.

Schiarra also said the Saudi Arabian outfit is looking to acquire Giovinco for three years at almost $11.5 million per season.

During MLS’ annual media day Jan. 20 in Los Angeles, Giovinco said he was satisfied in Toronto but felt the club owed him better communication about his future.

“I hope [they] can say something about my future, no?” Giovinco said. “I do what I do for the club, for the team. I deserve to know my future for the club, the truth. If they want me to stay, or they don’t want me anymore. But at least they have to say something. Because I don’t see anything. They [are] scared to say something, no? Why are they waiting to say the truth?

“I’ve loved my time there, and if it continues, fantastic, because I’ve set roots there. My family loves it there. But at the same time, if it doesn’t work out and I do end up leaving, I’m looking forward to it, also. I’ll be a free agent, so to speak. So I’ll have an opportunity I’ve never had in my career, in terms of playing in different places and being free.”

Giovinco, a former league MVP and MLS Cup champion, recently turned 32 and his contract will expire at the end of the 2019 season.

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