Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
It’s official. Michael Bradley is a member of Toronto FC.
AS Roma announced in a press release on Thursday afternoon that they have completed Bradley’s transfer to Major League Soccer for a fee of $10 million, two times the amount that Roma paid to acquire Bradley from Chievo Verona in 2011. TFC has yet to officially comment on the transfer.
The $10 million fee is a record transfer fee paid for a player moving to MLS. It comes just five months after Clint Dempsey was acquired by the Seattle Sounders for $9 million from Tottenham. Bradley also becomes the second most-expensive American behind Jozy Altidore, who moved to Villarreal in 2008 for $10 million and to Sunderland in 2013 for a reported $13 million.
According to multiple reports in the U.S., Bradley has signed a four-year contract worth somewhere in the region of $6.5 million per season. Bradley could make his TFC debut on March 15 against Dempsey and the Sounders.
ESPNFC’s Taylor Twellman first broke the news on Twitter on Wednesday that Bradley was on the verge of moving to Toronto FC, with multiple reports confirming that Bradley was indeed in discussions about a move back to MLS. The 26-year-old American was originally in Roma’s squad for its Coppa Italia match on Thursday against Sampdoria but was removed ahead of the match.
Following the game, Roma head coach Rudi Garcia confirmed that Bradley was on his way out, and lamented the fact that he was leaving. According to some reports, Roma’s signing of midfielder Radja Nainggolan on loan with an option to buy accelerated Bradley’s attempts to leave Italy for more playing time.
“Bradley wanted to go, we couldn’t keep the player,” Garcia told reporters. “He did very well with me in these months, but I understand he wants to play more.”
What do you think of this news? Still stunned by the transfer? Amazed that TFC paid $10 million to acquire him? Excited to see him face Clint Dempsey in Bradley’s MLS return?
Share your thoughts below.