One of Toronto FC’s most consistent players last season is set to rejoin the team on a full-time basis.
English defender Richard Eckersley, who spent the 2011 Major League Soccer campaign with the Reds on loan, is very close to signing a permanent deal with the Canadian club.
“A deal is imminent. It’ll be announced very soon,” a source close to the situation told sportsnet.ca on Wednesday evening.
English Championship side Burnley announced earlier Wednesday that a mutual agreement had been reached with Eckersley to cancel the final 18 months of his contract.
Eckersley, 22, won praise for his poised and mature performances at the right-back position last season. The Englishman also became a fan favourite, publicly declaring his love of the team and the city of Toronto.
TFC management was so impressed with Eckersley that they have spent most of this off-season trying to secure him on a permanent deal.
Paul Mariner, TFC’s director of player development, was instrumental in bringing Eckersley to Toronto, having coached the former Manchester United youth product during his stint as manager of Plymouth Argyle.
Earlier this month, Mariner told sportsnet.ca that the club was in advanced talks with Eckersley and that it was “extremely hopeful” of re-signing him prior to the start of the pre-season.