May 29, 2014, 5:16 PM EDT
Serie A’s capocannoniere is about to move, if today’s reports out of Italy are to be believed. Before you roll your eyes, know these aren’t the typical, nebulous soccer rumors we’ve heard about Torino’s Ciro Immobile since the end of the season. According to Gazzetta Dello Sport, the destination, fee, date, and salary are firm. Immobile will be confined as Borussia Dortmund’s $26.4 million signing tomorrow.
The 24-year-old, coming off a breakout, 22-goal season, is currently with the Italian national team while competing for a spot in Cesare Prandelli’s World Cup squad. Previously, however, the former Juventus prospect expressed a desire to rejoin a Champions League-qualifyied squad. After finishing second in the Bundesliga, BVB will be in UEFA’s premier club tournament for a fourth straight season.
Seeking to replace the departing Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund has been linked to Immobile since late in the season. The team also has returning goal-scoring in German international Marco Reus, Gabonese attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Armenian attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Bringing Immobile in on a 5-year, $13.6 million deal could stock the shelves in the same way Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan did after losing Mario Gotze last summer.
Whether the acquisition actually does provide that firepower depends on the extent to which Immobile’s 203-14 season reflects his actual talent. Coming into the season, the Italian international had five career Serie A goals. Featured by Torino, however, the young forward blossomed, earning his big-money move to a European power.
For Torino, a club that finished seventh in last season’s Serie A, the loss will be a blow, though not a completely unexpected one. For a team like i Granata, $26.4 million may be too much to turn down, particularly if Alessio Cerci can somehow stay on their books.
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