Cagliari, Gregory van der Wiel, Italian Serie A, Leagues, Major League Soccer, Story, Toronto FC, Transfers

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Toronto FC is nearing a deal to sign Netherlands international Gregory van der Wiel from Cagliari, the defender’s agent says.

Van der Wiel, 29, previously starred at Ajax and Paris Saint-Germain, but he has struggled to find consistent playing time since moving to Fenerbahce in the summer of 2016.

He only made 17 appearances in all competitions in one season at the Turkish club, and since moving to Cagliari last August, he has played in six total games for the Serie A club.

His agent, Hakim Slimani, told Dutch news outlet Telesport that the right-back is close to signing a two-year contract with MLS champions Toronto FC.

Toronto would likely have to use targeted allocation money to sign Van der Wiel, given that the club already has three designated players — Sebastian Giovinco, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore — all making among the league’s top 10 salaries.

Gregory van der Wiel has not played much since leaving PSG in 2016.

Toronto is in need of a new right-back after Steven Beitashour completed his move to expansion club LAFC as a free agent earlier this week.

General manager Tim Bezbatchenko told reporters earlier this week that Toronto was looking for reinforcements in the international market, but he declined to comment on reports concerning Van der Wiel.

“We are looking possibly for one additional piece that can provide maybe a little bit different of a look and variation to our group than we currently have,” Bezbatchenko said on Wednesday.

“But we also want to make sure that the player is the right fit for our team both on the field and off the field… We’re looking to try to find the best player for our budget that can help our attack.”

Van der Wiel has made 46 appearances for Netherlands and started in the defeat to Spain in the 2010 World Cup final.

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