As the opening day of Major League Soccer inches ever-closer, the Portland Timbers remain in the hunt for a host of players to strengthen the team for head coach Gio Savarese. After completing the club record signing of Brazilian playmaker Evander, PTFC reportedly have their sights set on a new striker to further bolster their attacking ranks.
After a lackluster season from the Cascacia club, finishing with a record of 11W, 13D, 10L, and falling short of playoff qualification by one point, the team's front office will be keen to put themselves back into the conversation in the Western Conference in 2023. However, they will need to continue to strengthen the team in order to do that.
Reports from MLS insider Tom Bogert in mid-December suggested that the Timbers were interested in bringing in J1-League striker Kasper Junker on loan for the 2023 season. The Danish forward boasts a tally of 27 goals and 3 assists in 62 appearances for the Urawa Reds, and looked to potentially be a good option for Gio Saverese to lead the line while Chilean forward Felipe Mora works his way back to full fitness.
However, cold water has been thrown on the rumors surrounding Junker's potential move to Providence Park by Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports, who have revealed that the Dane is closing in on a move within the J1-League to Nagoya Grampus. While the Timbers' interest in Junker was only ever that, interest, it appears that the striker's move to Nagoya will be officially announced in the coming days.
With that news, the Timbers front office will need to shift their focus elsewhere in their search for a goal-scorer to lead the line. With Jaroslaw Niezgoda still set to don the green and gold kit at the start of the 2023 season, Savarese will have familiar options. Despite that, the club will likley continue their search as they look to work their way back up the Major League Soccer table.