Sale of disgruntled Whitecaps striker Camilo not done yet

The Canadian Press
1/15/2014 9:20:37 PM
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VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson says a deal to sell disgruntled striker Camilo Sanvezzo to a Mexican club has yet to be finalized.

Despite reports out of Mexico on Wednesday that the transfer with Queretaro F.C. had been completed, Robinson says there are still details that need to be ironed out.

"We're still working on it to find a solution at this moment," Robinson said on a conference call from Philadelphia ahead of Thursday's Major League Soccer SuperDraft.

Sanvezzo has been practising with Queretaro for the last two weeks and was even pictured wearing the club's kit, despite the fact that he had the option on his MLS contract picked by the Whitecaps for the 2014 season in November.

Robinson, who was named Whitecaps head coach last month, said he travelled to Mexico to meet face to face with Sanvezzo to try to resolve the crisis.

"He put a few views across to me and I made my points clear to him about where I stood as the head coach of this organization, as well as where the club stood," said Robinson. "There were a few words that maybe were higher decibels than others, but I think it was important that conversation happened."

The 25-year-old Sanvezzo was last season's MLS Golden Boot winner after scoring 22 goals but there was a clear disconnect between the Whitecaps and the player, resulting in what has become a messy divorce.

"I was very surprised to see my player with a Queretaro kit on," said Robinson. "I don't think there's any manager in the world that wouldn't be surprised and disappointed."

Sanvezzo joined Vancouver in 2011, scoring 39 goals in 92 league games, including 75 starts. The Whitecaps scored 53 times in 2013, with Sanvezzo setting up or scoring 28 of those goals.

He made US$247,500 last season, third highest on the team, but a number that was not even a quarter of fellow striker Kenny Miller's salary of nearly $1.25 million.

Robinson reiterated a point made by Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi last week that Sanvezzo's agent has been feeding his client misinformation.

He would not say what reasons Sanvezzo gave for wanting to force his way out of Vancouver.

The impending loss of the team's top scorer is a major blow to Robinson, who replaced the fired Martin Rennie last month.

It creates an obvious hole up front on a team that missed the playoffs last season, but the spectacular departure is also a nightmare from a public relations perspective.

"We're at a stage now where we need to try and do what is right for myself and my team moving forward into next year," Robinson said.

The Whitecaps will get two-thirds of whatever transfer fee Sanvezzo fetches, while the MLS pockets the rest.

Camilo Sanvezzo (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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