The threat of the Chinese Super League luring top players from MLS has lurked in the background since the big spending out of Asia began, but a real threat may be posed as China tries to steal the top player in MLS with a lucrative offer.
In the past week, there has been interest from China in Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco. The offers have been acknowledged by his agent, and the Italian forward didn’t rule out China as a possibility, like he did with Barcelona and Serie A in a Sky Sports Italia interviewing, all of this via ESPN FC.
“The market in China is on fire and I’ve been told that there is interest, so we’ll see,” Giovinco said. “We’ll talk about it with Toronto. I’m happy here and we’ll have to see what the club wants to do. My agent has told me about an offer, but he hasn’t told me which club it’s from.”
Giovinco also noted that despite the interest from abroad he is happy in Toronto and hungry to get the team back to MLS Cup for the second consecutive season.
“I’m happy here in Toronto and [going back to Italy] is not something I’m thinking about,” Giovinco said. “Losing in the MLS final last season still pains me — it was a huge disappointment because the city, just like Canada, had never got so far, but we’re going to try to go one step further.”
As for potential moves to Europe, Giovinco shot them down in the interview because of multiple reasons, including little playing time if Barcelona came calling.
“It’s true, in the past there was interest from Barcelona, but I’d have been a ball boy there. With those three stars in attack, I wouldn’t play at all,” Giovinco said. “I wasn’t interested because I wanted to play. Neymar, Messi and Luis Suarez would’ve played even with one leg and still made the difference, so there was no point in me being there.”