No contract has been inked, and nothing is official just yet, contrary to several media reports throughout Central America.
But with any luck, Honduran midfielder Arnold Peralta will be a member of Toronto FC by week’s end.
“The two sides haven’t come to terms but they are talking. He wants to come to Toronto and the club is interested in signing him. I expect something to be finalized in the next couple of days. It’s close to getting done,” an official with the player agency that represents the Honduran international confirmed to sportsnet.ca.
The official stated other Major League Soccer clubs are interested in Peralta, but that he would be “very surprised” if Peralta didn’t join TFC, who were first presented with the option of signing the Honduran international last November.
The official also confirmed that if Peralta did sign with the Reds it would be on a permanent contract, and not on a loan deal, and that a transfer fee of some sort would be paid to his current club, Honduran outfit CDS Vida.
Earl Cochrane, Toronto’s director of team and player operations, declined to comment when contacted by sportsnet.ca.
If the Reds do land Peralta, it would be a big boost for a Toronto team that finished last place in MLS last year and is in desperate need of quality players to round out its roster ahead of the 2013 season. Peralta, 23, was a member of the Honduran team that impressed at last summer’s Olympic Games, beating Spain in the group stage before losing to eventual silver medalist Brazil in the quarter-finals.
Described as a bulldog in the middle of the park, Peralta is a talented attacking midfielder who has also played as a right fullback. He has a number of senior team caps to his credit, and played in Honduras’ infamous 8-1 win over Canada in San Pedro Sula last October that officially eliminated the Canadians from World Cup qualifying.
While Peralta appears on his way in at Toronto FC, Joao Plata looks to be on his way out, as the club is trying to send the Ecuadorian winger out on loan for the season. Plata, 20, joined TFC in 2011 before being sent out on six-month loan to LDU Quito last July.
Conchrane said that he doesn’t expect Plata to play with TFC in 2013, and that the Ecuadorian might go back on loan with Quito or with another South American club.
“I think he could do with another year of playing a lot. In this environment that we are trying to create (at TFC) he may not enough playing time. That’s going to be important for him for his development and we’re going to try to find an environment for him to succeed,” Cochrane explained.