Toronto FC’s Richie Laryea will sign a three-and-a-half year contract to join English Championship club Nottingham Forest, sources tell TSN.

Laryea will undergo a medical in England Thursday before completing the process to obtain a work permit. Sources say his move to England gained momentum over the last few days despite Toronto FC offering the 26-year-old a new, four-year deal that would have paid Laryea $925,000 a season, making him the highest-paid left back in Major League Soccer.

The Toronto native made more than 80 appearances for TFC over three seasons, including featuring in the 2019 MLS Cup. And though reports have connected TFC with high-priced, high-profile moves for Serie A talent – including an impending deal to sign Lorenzo Insigne – TSN has learned Toronto FC is very keen to sign Laryea to a long-term deal.

However, Laryea has long desired a chance to play in Europe, and he is expecting to compete for a starting position right away. Back last summer, Laryea was connected with a move to the Turkish Super League, but no deal was ever finalized.

Although Nottingham Forest has not played in the English Premier League since 1999, the team is one of English soccer’s most successful and historic clubs. Nottingham Forest famously won back-to-back European Cup/Champions Leagues in 1979 and 1980. The team currently sits ninth in England’s second division, six points from the promotion playoffs.

Laryea’s move is another indication of the growing value of the talent on the Canadian men’s national team, following the exploits of Alphonso Davies at Bayern Munich, Jonathan David at Lille, and Cyle Larin at Besiktas.
Canada currently sits 40th in the FIFA men’s world rankings and first in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. The national team will continue its pursuit of World Cup qualification for the first time since 1986 when it plays in Honduras on Jan. 27, in Hamilton against the United States on Jan. 30, and in El Salvador on Feb. 2.