Friday, August 22, 2008

Silly season (chapter 3,167,289)

I've been tracking no less than nine transfer situations involving U.S. internationals, and it would appear that most of them are becoming quite interesting. I have nothing definitive to break right now (if I did, you'd see it on Soccer365) and I can't repeat everything I've learned as of yet, but I figured I could drop a few harmless, yet interesting notes this fine Friday morning.

I also want to be clear that each agent I spoke to in the last 24 hours was not ready to comment beyond anything below, so any added info is courtesy of birdies I trust.

#1 - The Heath Pearce race has become more crowded than it was last week. I can't say any more right now, but some of the Dutch and German teams linked with him in conjecture are involved to a varying extent and some are not. FC Utrecht remains the only club I can confirm have held serious talks on the matter this summer... but they just signed a left back. I am now reasonably sure Vitesse are or were in the mix.

#2 - Expect some Michael Bradley movement in the coming days. Word has it Middlesbrough have or are about to bid, although UK reports have wildly overshot the amount (they claim £6 million when it's actually closer to $6 million). My Spidey sense tells me Everton won't be far behind with a better offer. Celtic also appear to have maintained interest and have just dealt box-to-box midfielder Evander Sno to Ajax.

And if these three transfer kitties go to war, the one you can score will be the Toffees.

UPDATE: Hamburg director of scouting Bernd Legien confirmed to me just now that the club have extensively watched Bradley, including Wednesday night's U.S. win at Guatemala, but refused to be drawn into divulging whether or not they would make an offer. Obviously, with Vincent Kompany and Rafael van der Vaart money in hand, an HSV bid could certainly complicate Everton's chances, much less everyone else's.

#3 - As I expected, Marvell Wynne has received multiple calls from European clubs this week. I have no teams, or even leagues, to confirm on those dialing codes. Wynne agent Lyle Yorks was willing to concede no more than: "Marvell has had interest from Europe since the Olympics."

That being said, I'd bet dollars to donuts one or more of these suitors are from the Eredivisie.

#4 - I have reason to believe the Eddie Johnson-to-Cardiff loan deal has been muddled by a new bidder. EJ agent Richard Motzkin told me: "No comment at this time."

UPDATE: Whatever the obstacle, it has been dislodged and EJ is now a Cardiff loan player.

#5 - Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan is currently being courted by at least one, if not two or three, teams on the continent. There may well be UK clubs involved as well, but I have no word of this. Again, Motzkin said: "No comment at this time."

There are a few other things worth mentioning, but I think I'm going to sit on those for now.

- Greg Seltzer


Anonymous said...

Do you believe that Kljestan can be successful outside of MLS? I, for one, have been thoroughly underwhelmed by him in spite of all the hype that MLS apologists throw out.
He's a terrible decision-maker on the ball and struggles to adapt to any speed of play that is greater than Chivas USA's. While he can succeed at the MLS level in the midfield, he really won't have a position in a better league. He's not quick or fast enough for a wing position and not skilled or quick enough for a midfield position.

Color me confused about what European teams are seeing in him.

Greg Seltzer said...

I do believe Kljestan can have some success in the right squad with the right system. I would assume his big play capability is the main drawing card, but obviously he needs to work on consistency. While he is surely not fast enough to play wide at a high level, I do feel his central skills and quickness are up to snuff if he can improve his passing and dribbling a bit.

If I had to guess (and I do because I have no clue who is talking with him), I'd say he might be drawing interest from a top-5 Danish side or a mid-tabler from Germany or the Netherlands with hopes of competing for a place in Europe - or some combination of those. He's probably not being viewed as an immediate starter, but someone who can supply a spark off the bench and develop into a regular over time.

bhamhawker said...

Thanks Greg. I appreciate all the work you put into the blog and Soccer365.

One last question - what do you know about Gabe Ferrari and his progress at Sampdoria? I was impressed with him when I've seen him (granted, it's certainly a small sample size). He's also a player that a lot of soccer bloggers seem to skip over in young strikers discussions.

Thanks again!

Greg Seltzer said...

First of all, thanks for the props, Ryan.

As for Gabe, I do like the kid. Sadly, until he gets into the first team, I very rarely get to see what he's up to. My buddy Chris Courtney keeps much better tabs on him.

For instance...

Evan said...

this site is great guys, i know have it in my regular morning and afternoon routines to check. a couple questions though--do you see toronto selling marvel after just selling edu? that is a lot for one team to lose and still be competitive? though i think going to holland would be the best thing for him.

also, though there are suiters lining up pearce, do you think he is actually gone or is it just noise?

last one and then i will leave you guys alone for the day-- bradley, of all the people that want him, where do you think is BEST for him right in his career, including staying at 'veen. thanks.

Greg Seltzer said...

Oops, I meant "thanks" to mgt 371... and to you as well, Evan.

I don't know if TFC/MLS would sell Wynne right after Edu leaves, but I guess that all depends on just how hot for him these Euro-clubs are. It's certainly possible someone has the idea to take him in January.

With Pearce, I'm thinking he will find a new club by the deadline. His list of suitors has lost a couple teams in the last 48 hours due to various reasons, and I'm pretty sure given his low price someone will be smart enough to pull the trigger before too long.

I'm hoping to see both of those guys in the Eredivisie.

As for Bradley, as of this moment I'd say his ideal place would be the Bundesliga, with Hamburg or Werder Bremen as top choices. I also think Celtic would be great.

What I can't figure out is why we haven't heard of any French teams on his trail, apart from one apparent failed bid from Monaco. That league also seems a logical step for him.

Staying at Heerenveen under Gertjan Verbeek would have been cool too, but new boss Trond Sollied is more likely to run a 4-4-2 system akin to Bob Bradley's with the 'Nats and to me that is a bright flashing warning signal to get out now.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the confusion Greg, but I am still figuring out the nuances of posting comments through this site. That was me above as Ryguy131 and MGT 371 (I have no idea why that came up?).

Anyways, I enjoy the blog and your work on Soccer365 immensely.

Where in Holland are you located? I spent a few weeks there playing back in 2001. We played some games against Vitesse, Feyenoord, and a few other junior teams. I believe we stayed in a small town outside of Rotterdam called Maasluis.

Evan said...

greg, thanks for the info. great stuff.

Franco Panizo said...

Anything new worth mentioning? I want to see Pearce, Onyewu and MB move before the deadline. I doubt they all do though.

Greg Seltzer said...

Workin' on it. :)

We probably won't know much of anything about Gooch until Standard plays Liverpool on Wednesday. If they win, he probably stays... if they lose as expected, he will probably go.