Toronto FC is very close to adding some muscle and experience to its back line.
A team source told Sportsnet that a deal with Polish international centre-back Damien Perquis is “pretty much done.”
This comes on the heels of Wednesday’s news that Spanish club Real Betis, who compete in Spain’s second division, released the 30-year-old Perquis from his contract. This would allow Perquis, who’s been in talks with TFC for some time, to join the MLS club on a free transfer.
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Perquis, a French-born centre back, spent the bulk of his career in Ligue Un, France’s first division, before joining Betis in 2012.
Although born in the French city of Troyes, he plays internationally for Poland’s national team—he’s eligible to represent Poland through his grandparents.
The pending arrival of Perquis would be a big addition to a Toronto FC side lacking defensive depth, especially in the wake of Canadian Doneil Henry’s departure to West Ham United.
Captain Steven Caldwell lacks an experienced partner in the centre of defence, as second-year defender Nick Hagglund is still learning on the job. Perquis would fill that void, and is someone who Caldwell would not have to babysit while at the same time trying to anchor the defence.
TFC coach Greg Vanney is very familiar with Perquis, as he went up against the Polish defender when he played for Bastia in the French league during his playing career.
“We’ve watched him and I’ve played against him,” Vanney told the Toronto Sun last month. “He’s a guy we’ve kept interest in and have watched him progress while he has been there."
Toronto FC has been busy this off-season, adding a key attacking piece in Juventus midfielder Sebastian Giovinco, and swapping Jermain Defoe with Sunderland for American forward Jozy Altidore.
But the defence remains a work in progress, a fact acknowledged by general manager Tim Bezbatchenko who at the Giovinco press conference earlier this week said he wasn’t satisfied with the state of Toronto’s back line.