Toronto: Italian football star Sebastian Giovinco blasted Toronto FC management on Wednesday night, saying he doesn't trust the MLS team to tell the truth about his departure and that he was willing to take less money to stay in the city.
"They may say I left for a more lucrative deal, but this is not the case," Giovinco said in a lengthy Instagram post. "I would have accepted less to stay in Toronto."
Toronto FC announced on Wednesday that they have transferred their all-time leading scorer Giovinco to the Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal.
Giovinco said he has been trying to get a contract extension for two years without success.
"I can say that I wanted it to end differently," he said. "I was offered terms that I deemed unacceptable. Their offer and lack of transparency is a clear message. It seems management prefers to focus on things other than the pure desire to win."
The Canadian and US media reported that the Saudi Professional League team paid a transfer fee of between $2 million and $3 million.
Giovinco departs as the Reds' leading scorer across all competitions with 83 goals.
"After having grown the brand and elevating the overall reputation of TFC both at home and abroad, it seems I no longer serve a purpose," he bristled.
The 32-year-old Giovinco, who is known as a potent scorer and free-kick specialist, was in the last year of his MLS contract.
"Replacing a player like Sebastian is difficult," said Toronto GM Ali Curtis. "But we are working diligently and are confident that we will be adding a new designated player in the near future."
Giovinco originally joined Toronto in 2015 from Juventus, of Italy's Serie A and has been an offensive force from the beginning, winning the MLS MVP award along with the Newcomer of the Year award in 2015.
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Updated Date: Jan 31, 2019 14:15:08 IST