The trade market for Ignacio Piatti just might not be there, the Montreal Impact midfielder could well be a part of the Eastern Conference side for the foreseeable future.
Recent comments by Impact owner Joey Saputo seemed to fan the flames that Piatti could well be on the move, this as the Impact has sputtered at the start of the year. Multiple sources throughout the league tell Metro that Piatti isn’t being offered “or shopped” around by the Impact but that the club has registered several phone calls from teams interested in the player. Interest from several teams has been expressed for the Argentine attacker, considered one of the best playmakers in the league.
And why shouldn’t teams be interested? Since joining the Impact in 2014 he has 52 goals and 27 assists, twice being named an All-Star during that stretch. Teams, theoretically, should be lining up for the player.
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But there is a hindrance to him being traded away.
First, age is an issue according to these league sources, one a head coach and another a sporting director. Piatti just turned 33-years old and in a league that is increasingly getting younger, that is a prohibitive challenge. While he can certainly be an immediate impact – pardon the pun – he isn’t just a rent-a-player for a team looking to be put over the top.
Beyond his age, next and perhaps more of an issue is his contract.
Piatti is owed $5.3 million this year with sources saying that number is $4.3 million in 2019 with an option year in 2020 that is believed to be $3.3 million. In addition, much of that money is guaranteed one source said.
The major impetus for moving Piatti, according to one source, is that first-year head coach Rémi Garde wants to make additions during the summer transfer window. He has been told by Saputo that in order to bring in new talent, big-time contracts need to be cleared.
Piatti, at $5.3 million this year and $4.3 million next year, is a very expensive hit to take on. This isn’t merely trading for a mid-tier player, this is bringing on board a Designated Player with one of the top salaries in the league.
His salary would rule out a number of potential suitors whose ownership might not be interested in such a commitment of resources over the next two years.
What wouldn’t be a hindrance, necessarily, would be compensation. The sources tell Metro that trading resources isn’t an issue as Montreal is largely looking to move the contract and would be motivated on that end. The commitment to a 33-year old player with one of the top salaries in the league, however, looks to be the stumbling block for several teams.