Will Johnson is close to completing a deal to move from Toronto FC to Orlando City SC, according to multiple reports in the U.S.
The Orlando Sentinel first reported the news on Wednesday, citing league sources who said that a deal for the two-time MLS Cup champion to join Jason Kreis' team could be announced as soon as Friday. The Toronto Sun also reported the news.
Johnson, 29, said he was ready to explore free agency ahead of Toronto's loss on penalty kicks to the Seattle Sounders in this year's MLS Cup final. He could now be headed for a reunion with Kreis, who managed the Canada international during his time at Real Salt Lake, a stint that included his first MLS Cup win in 2009.
RSL traded Johnson to the Portland Timbers following the 2012 season, where the midfielder went on to win another MLS Cup in 2015 despite not featuring heavily in manager Caleb Porter's rotation.
In Toronto, Johnson again struggled for regular playing time, although he did make several key appearances for the team during their run to the MLS Cup finals this year.
The Sun reports that Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko said the club was still in negotiations with Johnson, but admitted they were trying to reconcile his desire to stay with Johnson's vision of himself as a 90-minute player, not a substitute.
"We never promise players anything in terms of regular starting positions," Bezbatchenko said. "Will is the type of player who expects to have a major role. The question is can we work that out with him where that's what he's getting.
"Obviously we haven't been able to sort that out yet."