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Michael Bradley’s deal with Toronto is complete, says Italian agent Alberto Faccini

Jan 9, 2014, 12:20 PM EDT

AS Roma v Calcio Catania  - Serie A Getty Images

In a fast moving story, more news has arrived as Michael Bradley’s impeding transfer to Toronto FC is edging ever closer.

Bradley, who was named in Roma’s initial squad for their Coppa Italia quarterfinal with Sampdoria on Thursday but then pulled out, has apparently agreed personal terms with Toronto and is just waiting for the two teams to iron out the transfer fee.

It has also been revealed that several other Serie A clubs, plus teams in England and elsewhere in Europe, had wanted to buy the 26-year-old midfielder but Bradley has a burning desire to “help the growth of American soccer.”

(MORE: Michael Bradley included in AS Roma squad for cup tie vs. Sampdoria… has he pulled out?)

This is all coming from an Italian based agent, Alberto Faccini, who spoke to Italian radio earlier today. Here are the highlights of what Faccini had to say:

“Things have worked out well,” the American’s representative told Radio Radio. “Michael made this choice and closed the deal with Toronto in just two days. There is a very important project there for him at Toronto, who have made an investment that is one of the most expensive in recent years.

“For Michael this was a difficult step to take but the choice was dictated by some market movements. Without waiting for January 31, he chose to follow this path also to help the growth of American soccer. There were many offers for him, also in Serie A, from clubs like Verona and Bologna. But Micheal chose to return in the States after 10 years in Europe. It was a tough decision, but one made with the heart. Roma wanted him to stay but it was his choice to move to Toronto.”

Done and dusted? Not quite yet, but it seems as though a few formalities of crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s is all it will take before Michael Bradley is seen wearing the red jersey of Toronto FC and playing back in MLS where it all began.

We will have more reaction, news and analysis at ProSoccerTalk, on this monumental transfer for Toronto and Major League Soccer.

  1. player169 - Jan 9, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Crazy. Good for MLS though. It helps build the brand, he gets paid and I think, long term sets him up to follow in his father’s footsteps as a coach. Your time on the field is limited…cash in when you can and set yourself up for the future…

    On a Serie A note, I’m sad that he is leaving Roma, because they have been fun to follow…and now I won’t want to watch Serie A anymore. MB was just on the fringe of the starting 11, but with pay, World cup, and playing time as considerations…i understand the move. 10 years in Europe and compatriots playing in the U.S. and on the USMNT…i can see where he felt comfortable going to a less prestigious league.

    Sad, but Stoke and Sunderland are the only European teams I will be watching for the time being.

    Also, sad he isn’t coming to KC! Congrats TFC…definitely exciting times for your club!!

    • timoshenko02 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Not a huge fan of Tim Howard hes near the top of the table with Everton

  2. talgrath - Jan 9, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    I think that “burning desire” had more to do with a 600%+ pay increase than helping out US soccer, but okay Mr. Faccini, whatever you say.

    • amartinez99 - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:50 PM

      Just want to point out, it’s actually a 500% increase ($6.5M from $1.1M). A 100% increase represents a doubling of something, so a 100% increase would be $2.2M. Therefore, $6.5M is about 500% of $1.1M. A 500% increase is equal to an increase of 6 times (just like a 100% increase is an increase of 2 times the original amount).

      I know this seems trivial, but as someone in the compensation field, I have seen this error several times and just thought I’d point it out.

      And regarding the actual story, I’m excited for MLS, I’m a self-described MLS homer, but I would never claim MLS is on par with the top leagues of Europe. For MB to choose to come to us and continue his career while in his prime is huge, and I hope attracts the attention of more players of his caliber (non-US as well as US players, though there aren’t too many US players of his caliber that aren’t already here).

      Don’t forget that Omar Gonzalez and Graham Zusi have signed deals to stay here, so obviously MLS is becoming an attractive league to play in for USMNT members.

      The next step, though, MUST be to increase the salary cap to attract more talent in the 4-11 positions and, more importantly, the 12-18. Even with the current exceptions in place (DPs, Homegrowns, Generation Adidas, etc), a doubling of the salary cap to $6 million would help the talent level grow by leaps and bounds. I’m willing to bet the return on such an investment would be worth it.

    • reedineagan - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      I really think a team in England or another team in Italy would’ve matched the offer. I really want to believe he did this for the growth of USA. Think about the message it sends to young players in the US that are considering MLS.

      • talgrath - Jan 9, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        If someone in Europe was going to match the offer or beat it, I think Bradley would have taken it. In previous interviews he talked about his kids doing well in Italy and that he wanted to stay in Europe. His agent is blowing smoke, make no mistake this move was about money. I can’t fault him for that, because I would do the exact same thing.

  3. ws0001 - Jan 9, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    No one can fault Bradley for taking the offer. If MLS and the club owners are willing to ante up in order to keep many of the big name Americans at home, then more of the national team will be playing in North America. I do not think has a great deal of impact on the US National Team overall. While it speaks well of a national team that has many of its Top XI on the best clubs in the world, it is not the be all end all. Japan and South Korea have advanced out of group play multiple times with rosters that mostly play domestically. Plenty of successful national teams have rosters filled with players who are with lesser clubs (whether it is in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, or elsewhere) because they either need or want the most money possible.

    This string of moves though makes me wonder if Jozy will be next. With his struggles and Sunderland possibly getting relegated, maybe the club tries to recoup the $13 million they paid for his transfer.

    • pecorasc - Jan 9, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      After this all sunk in over night, I started wondering the same about Altidore. Take a step back and listen to how crazy all this sounds. A year ago it seemed impossible.

      • reedineagan - Jan 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Brek Shea anyone?

  4. newmanggrrr - Jan 9, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Pissed off Red Bulls didn’t bid for Bradley or Dempsey. Let’s get Jozy back in 2015!!

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