Toronto FC are rumoured to be close to making a move to bring Italy striker, Alberto Gilardino, to the MLS after the club’s owners targeted the 31-year old as the man they’d like to help lead the club up the league.

The 2006 World Cup winner is still a member of the Italian squad and his signing would be a massive coup for Toronto, proving just how serious the Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment group are taking this franchise.

Toronto have made no secret that they are looking at targeting the Italian market and the signing of Gilardino would certainly be a big step to tapping into the country.

While the actual transfer would have to wait until after the completion of next summer’s World Cup, the franchise are believed to be hoping to announce the deal at the beginning of 2014.

Gilardino would bring a wealth of experience and talent to the Canadian side if he did sign for Toronto, gained over a career that has seen him play for the likes of Parma, Milan, and Fiorentina, scoring 159 goals in 414 appearances in Italy’s Serie A.

The striker’s contract with Genoa doesn’t expire until the summer of 2016 but a deal is close, according to many sports betting pundits.

In December 2011, the forward made the move from Fiorentina to Genoa for 8 million euros. But Gilardino soon fell out of favour at Genoa and was loaned out to Bologna last season, where he led the Emilia-Romagna outfit in goals with 13 goals, helping the club avoid relegation.

The 31-year-old returned to Genoa this summer. He has two goals in eight appearances in all competitions so far this season, but there is a real belief among fans who bet on soccer that the experienced frontman is keen on playing in the MLS.

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