The Fire didn't take long in putting plan B into action once Didier Drogba decided to pursue MLS life north of the border. Chicago has acquired Toronto FC forward Gilberto on waivers. The pursuit as first reported via Fire Confidential twitter and confirmed by ESPN, intensified this weekend once Drogba's preference became known on Friday.
Gilberto signed as a Designated Player in December of 2013 and scored 7 goals in 28 games last season. Toronto acquired Michael Bradley and then Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco after unloading Jermaine Defoe, thereby occupying all three DP slots necessitating that a move be made with Gilberto. He was loaned to Vasco da Gama in Brazil last February where he scored 9 times in 25 competitive matches. According to MLS rules, the Waiver draft order is determined by points per game once all clubs have played at least three MLS league games. The Fire were first in the Waiver draft order and claimed Gilberto.
He will be added to the Fire's roster pending a physical and receipt of his P-1 visa. At 26 years old he's in the prime of his career although he didn't exactly light up MLS last season. Gilberto does provide an upgrade over Kennedy Igboananike but likely won't excite the general public in the manner that Drogba would have either. Regardless of marquee recognition he' should be a solid addition with long term potential.
According to the MLSPU, Gilberto's guaranteed compensation last season was $1,205,000.00.
The Fire's deal with Montreal for Drogba reported to be at $100,000.00 in Allocation Money is actually nearly double that amount according to league sources and will create room to add defenders before the summer window closes on August 6. How much of that figure is Target Allocation Money and Regular Allocation is unclear but Chicago will have room with which to work. It should be noted however, that the agreement with Montreal is contingent upon Drogba signing a contract.