Toronto FC confirm signing of reported Aston Villa and Celtic target Jay Chapman

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Canadian midfielder Jay Chapman will start his professional career with Toronto FC as a Homegrown player rather than head to Europe this winter.

Toronto FC have managed to pull off somewhat of a transfer coup, signing Canadian midfielder Jay Chapman to a Homegrown deal on Thursday, confirmed on the club's website.

Chapman, 21, has spent the past three seasons starring at the college level with the Michigan State Spartans, where he recorded 12 goals and 15 assists in 62 appearances, while also turning out for the Under-20 national team.

One of the brightest collegiate prospects in the States, the Toronto-native was a member of the TFC Academy between 2010 and 2012, allowing the club sign him as a Homegrown player, although there were some fears that MLS would force him to enter the upcoming SuperDraft instead.

Voted a First-Team All-American in 2014, his impressive performances were also reported by the Daily Mail to have attracted interest from Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Sunderland and Swansea, as well as Scottish champions Celtic, but the promising playmaker will instead be starting his professional career at BMO Field.

“We are very excited to sign Jay. It’s always rewarding to sign players that were developed from within your Academy,” Toronto general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the club’s official website.

“Jay is a technical player and has shown an ability to be a driving force in the centre of midfield during his time at Michigan State. He fits into the direction we are heading in terms of our style of play and will be an important part of our club.”

With Chapman now on board, it marks an eventful week of transfer business for Toronto, with the club on the verge of shipping the unsettled Jermain Defoe to Sunderland in return for US international Jozy Altidore, and a deal for Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco also reportedly in the works, according to TSN.

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