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Colombian club wants to sign TFC's Osorio on season-long loan

Richard Lautens / Toronto Star / Getty

Jonathan Osorio's former coach wants to bring the Toronto FC midfielder to Colombia.

Octavio Zambrano, manager of Colombian side Independiente Medellin and former boss of the Canadian national team, told Sportsnet's John Molinaro that he's looking to sign Osorio on loan for the 2019 season.

"I am going to formally ask the Toronto FC top brass to get Jonathan Osorio to join us for next season on loan," Zambrano said. "We have qualified for Copa Libertadores and need to strengthen our roster. It would be great for him to compete at the highest level in South America."

Currently recovering from sports hernia surgery, Osorio, whose parents were born in Colombia, is expected to return to action before the Copa Libertadores in March. But it's unclear whether TFC will allow its star player to leave for the entire year.

Toronto rewarded Osorio in August with a lucrative long-term contract that, according to club president Bill Manning, made the 26-year-old "one of the highest-paid Canadian players in the world." He registered 17 goals and eight assists in 43 matches across all competitions and won the Golden Boot award in the CONCACAF Champions League.

Osorio's impressive campaign reportedly piqued the interest of clubs from Europe and Mexico, but he ultimately decided to agree to fresh terms with his hometown outfit.

He could feel differently about a loan move to his ancestral homeland - especially with Zambrano leading the push. It was the 60-year-old who recalled Osorio to the Canadian national team in 2017 after a spell on the sidelines, and the Brampton, Ontario native credited the manager for rejuvenating his game.

Formerly a playmaking No. 10, Osorio was reinvented as more of a box-to-box midfielder with both attacking and defensive qualities.

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