Toronto CF President Bill Manning connected with a generation of soccer manager players when he came across a new signing Lawrence Badge while using a popular website transfer market.

Badge, who has spent the last 16 years at the boyhood club Naples, will become the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer history when he joins Bob Bradley’s side on a free transfer in July.

30-Age the striker has already written a pre-contract agreement with the Reds and will join on a four years deal worth $12 million per season in wages, according to reports.

In fact, shortly after his tournament efforts, the small forward’s impressive stats were spotted by Toronto CF President Bill Manning when he decided to travel the Transfermarkt website.

In case you didn’t already know, Transfermarkt displays a wide range of football information, including results, transfer news and player values.

Image credit: Alamy

The president of the club would have been ‘in the dumps‘ on performance throughout 2021 MLS season, so he decided something had to be done to turn things around for the team.

In a moment of absolute genius, he searched for out-of-contract players on the Transfermarkt site – a branding method used on Football Manager games.

The rest, as they say, is history.

“I watched the Italian national team to find out which players were coming out of contract,” Manning said via The Toronto Sun.

“And Lorenzo Badge was one of the few players to come out of his contract. And I started writing players that I thought were world class, that I thought would have commercial value in that market.

“I then presented to the MLSE board a five years vision on what we need to do to reinvigorate our club. And Lorenzo Badge was the first name on this list.

Manning came into contact with Italian agent Andrea D’Amico and the former MLS vice-president Lino player relations Di Cuollo find out if there would be any interest from Badge on signing for the club.

“And things started to snowball from there,” Manning added.

“When (D’Amico) made his first phone call with (Badgethe agent) Vincenzo (Pisacane), Andrea called me back and said, ‘Bill, it’s fate, we’re going to make this happen.’ And that was in September.

Badge agreed to sign for the MLS side on New Year’s Eve and details were quickly ironed out to bring the striker to Canada.

“He is a player at the peak of his career who has just won the European Championship… and has continued this year to play at a very high level,” Manning said.

“We’ve had a lot of famous players and incredible players in this league, but a player with his credentials and caliber at the peak of his career, I’m not sure we’ve seen yet.”

Reflections on Toronto CFis the last signature? Have you ever used transfer market find a pearl on Football Manager?

Let us know in the comments.

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