Toronto FC GM Ali Curtis did not pour cold water on the hot topic of former TFC star midfielder Victor Vazquez possibly returning to the Reds.

“We won’t be signing any players at this moment, especially given the uncertainty and impact that COVID-19 is having on our league, and the global community,” Curtis told the Toronto Sun. “With that said, things sometimes change quickly.

“Victor is a great guy and was a terrific player for TFC. I haven’t spoken to him directly for some time. While Victor still remains part of the TFC family, at the moment, we’re focused on the current players on our roster, the staff, and managing through the challenges of the pandemic.”

In an in-depth interview with TSN commentators Kristian Jack, Steven Caldwell and Luke Wileman on Footy Talks, Vazquez, who currently plays in Qatar, said he would love to return to TFC and play again in Major League Soccer.

However, reacquiring the Spaniard would not be straight forward.

Of course, there is the uncertainty around the transfer market during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As well, TFC’s position in the Allocation Ranking Order is an issue. The Reds sold Vazquez to Qatari club Al-Arabi for a fee of greater than $500,000 in January 2019 and he is subject to allocation should he sign again in Toronto.

TFC currently sit 25th (second from bottom) in the ARO, meaning they would have to make a significant move up in order to be in a position to re-sign Vazquez.

Toronto would likely have to structure a trade in order to move up in the allocation order. Last year, the Los Angeles Galaxy traded $400,000 in allocation money and a first-round draft pick to acquire the No. 1 allocation slot where they acquired Giancarlo Gonzalez.

Still, where there’s a will, there’s often a way.

“I’m still talking with a lot of people with TFC. It would be amazing to come back one day to Toronto because we love it,” Vazquez told the Footy Talks panel. “I don’t care about the money. I just want to play again and feel professional and feel happy about football and also I know that my family (wife Andrea and young son Leo) would be happy also.”

Vazquez’s contract with the Qatar club expires at the end of June and the 33-year-old said he is healthy now even though he struggled with injuries during his second season with Toronto in 2018. The Barcelona native said he still loves playing and believes he has at least three good years left as a player.

Vazquez left the Reds in January 2019 to sign with Al-Arabi — a move he now calls a mistake. Vazquez is currently playing for Umm Salal SC.

“Only two times I thought about money in my career. From Brugge to Mexico (Cruz Azul) — a mistake. And from Toronto to Qatar — another mistake,” he said.

In the Footy Talks interview, Vazquez continually praised TFC and the city of Toronto, as well as coach Greg Vanney, whom he stays in contact with. He joked at one point that he would one day be the head coach at TFC and Vanney would be his assistant.

“We really love Toronto and for us it was like our second home after Spain,” he said. “If we can find a way to come back, I would love it.”

Vazquez helped guide TFC to the MLS domestic treble in 2017 with his skill and play-making ability at midfield — though the Reds have another, younger, Spaniard on the roster now. Alejandro Pozuelo brings a lot of the same qualities in terms of vision and distribution.

Vazquez scored 16 goals and added 25 assists in 52 games across two seasons for the Reds in 2017-18. He also scored the team’s second goal in its 2-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders in the 2017 MLS Cup.

Still, if the price isn’t too high and the move can be made, acquiring Vazquez would make sense in terms of depth. Vanney has described Vazquez as a great teammate and person.

Twitter @Beezersun

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