SPORTS

Henry, Toronto FC still mum over sale to unidentified Cyprus club

10/28/2014 08:12 EDT | Updated 12/28/2014 05:59 EST
TORONTO - The plot thickens over defender Doneil Henry, who remains in the Toronto FC fold for the time being despite being secretly sold six months ago to a club in Cyprus.

The 21-year-old Canadian international, who has made no secret of his desire to play in Europe, spent the 2014 season on loan with Toronto.

News that his contract was owned by a club some 9,000 kilometres away didn't surface until late last week.

Neither Toronto or Henry have identified which club bought him back in April. And it's possible that Henry could be back in a Toronto uniform next year on loan.

"As of right now, a lot of discussions still have to be made between myself and Toronto," Henry told reporters Tuesday at Toronto's end-of-season player availability. "I'm weighing my options to see where my future will go. I'll sit down with my agent, my family and I'll see what the best decision is for me."

Toronto GM Tim Bezbatchenko said he felt no need to announce the sale because Henry was still with the club and there was no change in his salary cap hit.

But there was a financial transaction with a transfer and loan fee, not to mention an allocation money credit.

For a league struggling with transparency issues, a secret sale seems a step backwards.

Henry, however, said he wanted to keep things quiet because he didn't want to be a distraction.

"I never left. I was here. My focus was with Toronto so me staying here I just wanted to help do my part as a player with Toronto."

Asked why he could not divulge the Cyprus team that owns him, he replied: "Right now I don't feel comfortable talking about that. Eventually you guys will find out."

Henry said not telling anyone about the deal wasn't difficult "because my heart was always here in Toronto."

Despite his tender age, Henry is the current longest-serving player on the Toronto roster. He has played 70 league games for TFC since making his debut in 2010.

The six-foot 180-pounder from Brampton, Ont., became the first player from the Toronto FC academy to graduate to the first team when he signed a pro contract in August 2010.

Former manager Ryan Nelsen sent him to England's West Ham in the last off-season to train with the Premier League team.

An athletically gifted defender, Henry is a raw talent with a big up-side. Nelsen saw him as eventually playing at the highest level in Europe.

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