MONTREAL — The Montreal Impact exercised contract options on designated players Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taider and nine others Thursday.
In bringing Taider back, the Impact made the Algerian international midfielder's move permanent from Italy's Bologna. He joined Montreal in January 2018 on a three-year deal that included a two-year loan and an option for 2021.
The 34-year-old Piatti, a midfielder-forward who topped the Impact payroll at US$4.43 million last season, had three goals and one assist in an injury-interrupted 2019 campaign — his sixth with Montreal — that saw him play in just 11 regular-season games.
The 27-year-old Taider, who made $1.4 million this year, had nine goals and seven assists in 32 league outings last season.
Montreal extended the loan of midfielder Lassi Lappalainen from Bologna for another six months, until June 30, 2020. The Impact will then hold another option to extend his loan until Dec. 31, 2020.
Lappalainen, a 21-year-old Finn, adapted well to MLS with five goals and one assist in 11 matches.
The Impact also exercised options on goalkeeper James Pantemis, defender Jorge Corrales and midfielders Clement Bayiha, Mathieu Choiniere, Samuel Piette, Romell Quioto, Amar Sejdic and Shamit Shome.
Goalkeeper Evan Bush, defenders Rudy Camacho, Jukka Raitala and Karifa Yao, midfielder Bojan and striker Maximiliano Urruti are under contract for next season.
The club said it is not exercising options on goalkeeper Jason Beaulieu, defenders Daniel Kinumbe and Thomas Meilleur-Giguere, midfielders Omar Browne, Ken Krolicki and Jeisson Vargas, as well as Canadian striker Anthony Jackson-Hamel.
But the Impact said negotiations are ongoing with Jackson-Hamel to bring him back next year, the first under new manager Thierry Henry.
Goalkeeper Clement Diop and veteran defenders Bacary Sagna and Rod Fanni are currently without a contract. Season-long loans for defender Zachary Brault-Guillard (Olympique Lyonnais) and midfielders Ballou Tabla (FC Barcelona) and Orji Okwonkwo (Bologna) have ended.
The Impact said discussions were ongoing "with most of these players."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 21, 2019.
The Canadian Press