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Sporting Director Nick De Santis talks Zarek Valentin and addresses Daniele Paponi Rumor

After practice, Nick De Santis addresses the media about Zarek Valentin's loan deal, Patrice Bernier as a top MLS midfielder and the potential arrival of Daniele Paponi from Bologna FC.

Tullio M. Puglia

Zarek Valentin will be going to Norwegian club FK Bodø/Glimt, Patrice Bernier is a top MLS midfielder and the Montreal Impact - Bologna FC relationship might get renewed yet again. These are 3 points that are as good as facts. After practice, Nick De Santis (Impact's Sporting Director) addressed the media at Complexe Marie-Victorin.

Zarek Valentin: More Development, Less Salary Cap Breather

What was first thought as a salary cap move ended up being confirmed as a developmental move for both Zarek Valentin and the Montreal Impact. Though both are not mutually exclusive, Nick De Santis insisted on the importance to develop such a young player that has already played a lot of MLS minutes.

He played his whole career in the USA with a certain mentality. He needs an environmental, mentality and soccer culture change. -- Nick De Santis

I am not sure if Valentin's potential successful development in Norway will automatically translate into him coming back into the ranks of the Montreal Impact. Having confirmed to have received offers from other MLS clubs, De Santis is still keeping Valentin's rights, who still has 2 years left in his contract. Were the offers not good enough or was it too dangerous to give away talent to another MLS club?

Zarek Valentin was not in the coaching staff depth chart so it seems that he is somewhere on the management's depth chart. One thing for sure, this 1-year loan is definitively freeing up cap space for an offensive player that the club is still looking for , even after getting Andrea Pisanu and Andres Romero on-loan.

Daniel Paponi: Not a Done Deal

Bologna FC contacted us to see our interest [about Daniele Paponi] -Nick De Santis, Montreal Impact Sporting Director

Nick De Santis confirmed that there were initial talks between both clubs about Daniele Paponi. The 24-year old forward scored the winning goal against the Montreal Impact, during the club's Italy tour in 2012. Assuming that the club was interested since the beginning, adding more depth and choices at the forward positiong is a must for the Impact.

It does not necessarily mean that Paponi is on his way but it does bring up a big question:

What is the plan for Andrew Wenger?

It might mean that the 1st historical pick in the Impact's MLS history does not fit the technical profile that the club was looking for. At this point, as Montreal is getting experienced players on loan, it must find a way to include its best young draftees. In the same way it is integrating Karl W. Ouimette and eventually Maxime Tissot , integrating the best MLS draftees is crucial for the long-term. Being the best is also relative to how and where do you fit as per the club's philosophy, style and vision.

To be continued...