Toronto signed Liverpool defender Tony Gallacher on loan in September after he impressed during a scouting mission for another full-back.
And general manager Ali Curtis has not ruled out landing the 21-year-old Scottish youth international on a permanent deal when the agreement expires next month.
Gallacher joined Toronto midway through the rearranged Major League Soccer [MLS] season – which was halted due to the outbreak of coronavirus – with the regular campaign set to conclude this weekend.
Toronto sit second in the Eastern Conference, level on points with leaders Philadelphia, and face New York Red Bulls in their final game on Sunday.
Gallacher is guaranteed to be part of the squad who appear in the play-offs, which begin on November 20, but Curtis revealed the Liverpool prospect was originally spotted while tracking another target.
Head coach Greg Vanney and British-born director of scouting operations Jack Dodd were searching the under-23 Premier League 2 for potential options after Dodd previously worked as a Liverpool academy scout for five years.
He left Anfield in 2013 when Brendan Rodgers was manager but used his connections to secure a deal for Gallacher.
“It wasn’t about just scouting the u-23 Premier League, it was more about, ‘What position are we looking at?'” Curtis told MLSsoccer.com.
“We were looking at the full-back position, then through the relationship from our head scout, we got Tony’s name. It was actually through scouting a different player, we saw Tony and thought wow, he’s a talented player who might fit really well.”
Gallacher, who joined Liverpool from Falkirk in 2018, has forced his way into the team under Vanney and started the previous two fixtures.
Curtis, speaking in September, admitted there is potential for him to stay longer in Canada as the MLS becomes a ‘destination around the globe’.
“We think there’s a future,” he said. “Tony gets an opportunity to experience our environment to see what it’s like, the city, the culture, the league and the tactics.
“At the end of the year if there’s a strong enough relationship with the club and player, we’ll have a conversation about what the future looks like.”
Curtis added. “Every year, MLS becomes more of a destination around the globe. We’re a club that has won a lot of different championships with big players, so I think that helps.”
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Gallacher made his senior Liverpool debut in the Carabao Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa last season but remained coy about his immediate future.
“For me, right now, I’m thinking about games,” he said. “That’s what I need. Academy football at Liverpool for me was good for my development but I’m at a point in my career where games is the main thing.
“Right now it’s hard to tell the future, what it will hold, because no-one really knows right now. I’m taking it a game at a time, a training session at a time, and I’m just happy to be here getting first-team games and competing for trophies.
“It is something I’ve not had in a while so I’m really glad to be here.”