Sebastian Giovinco: ‘I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto’

John Molinaro joined Sportsnet Central to talk about the sale of Sebastian Giovinco and talks about how the club can move forward without a player of his calibre.

Toronto FC made headlines Wednesday night when they sold former MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco to Saudi club Al-Hilal.

Now a new Instagram post from the departing star suggests the two sides aren’t splitting on friendly terms.

“As I have always maintained, I was hoping to renew my contract and finish my playing career in a city that feels like home,” Giovinco wrote. “Unfortunately, this desire of ours has clashed with a change in direction with current TFC management. For the two years I have been seeking to extend my contract however management was reluctant.

“Recently, after refusing to exercise the club option for 2020, I was offered terms that I deemed unacceptable. They may say I left for a more lucrative deal, but this is not the case. Their offer and lack of transparency is a clear message. It seems management prefers to focus on things other than the pure desire to win.

“After having grown the brand and elevating the overall reputation of TFC both at home and abroad, it seems I no longer serve a purpose. I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto. Therefore, I reluctantly announce that my tenure as a TFC player has come to an end.”

Giovinco had one year remaining on his contract with Toronto FC at the time of his transfer and it is believed that he has signed a three-year, US $11.5 million per season contract with Al-Hilal.

The 32-year-old made a league-high US$7.115 million in 2018 and sources have told Sportsnet’s John Molinaro that Giovinco was hoping to sign an extension of equal value with Toronto, but the club asked him to take less.

Giovinco’s transfer from Serie A club Juventus in 2015 helped spark the most successful era in TFC history. He was the star on a TFC club that went from a basement dweller to MLS Cup champion and finishes his tenure with 73 goals and 57 assists in 125 MLS regular-season and playoff games over four seasons.

“Through hard work, passion and determination my teammates and I transformed TFC and made it one of the best clubs in MLS and in North America,” Giovinco wrote on Instagram. “This journey has been a wonderful experience for my family and me.

“It’s without hesitation that I can say that I wanted it to end differently.”


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