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TFC opts against signing Giovinco ahead of roster freeze

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC Sebastian Giovinco - The Canadian Press

Sebastian Giovinco will not be suiting up for Toronto FC this season.

Interim manager Terry Dunfield confirmed on Friday that the team has not offered a contract to their former star forward ahead of Major League Soccer's roster freeze later in the evening.

Giovinco, 36, has been training with the team for the past several weeks and will continue to do so, Dunfield said, but he would be unavailable for selection for up to three weeks and with only seven matches remaining in the season, the Reds opted against signing the 2015 MLS Most Valuable Player.

"My thoughts are that if we were just looking for a nice moment, a nice feeling for our fans, for Seba, we probably could've pulled the trigger on a deal," Dunfield said (via John Molinaro). "But in my opinion, that's not Seba. I think Seba wants to come back and be impactful and really make a difference. At this stage, he's probably, realistically, two or three weeks away for roster selection. Unfortunately, this year we've run out of time. So, the plan is for Seba to continue training with the group; he'll be flying [in training] when John Herdman comes in at the beginning of October and then we go from there."

A native of Torino, Giovinco joined the Reds from Juventus in 2015 and went on to make 114 league appearances over four seasons, scoring 68 goals. An MLS All-Star in all four seasons, Giovinco was instrumental in the team's treble-winning season of 2017 in which TFC captured the Canadian Championship, Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup.

Internationally, Giovinco was capped 23 times by Italy and was a member of the team's 2012 Euro squad.

TFC returns to action on Saturday night with a visit from Vancouver Whitecaps.