Saturday, August 20, 2011

Urgh. Awkward.

Alright, you've seen me allude to it before and you all know I do not like improper info being floated in transfer scenes and the emails queries are flying in - so as much as I wanted to continue sitting on this, there's nothing to do but spill.

Earlier today, NYT all-star Jack Bell posted this revelatory bit about Arsenal possibly sizing up Tim Ream and most of it is basically on the money. However, there are a couple things I feel the need to clear up.

The first is, there have yet to be any reports of an Arsenal offer for Ream to ask MLS to confirm before now. I've kept my mouth shut about it for eons and nobody else on either side of the pond knew from what I was told. There certainly has not been a peep of it from the UK press. There will be now, though - which was why I kept that card to vest.

So yes, Arsenal have for a long time been and are monitoring Ream. However, unless Erik Soler's claim that there has been no offer for Ream is based on the current situation only, what he says here is simply untrue. Thus, reluctantly, I will personally confirm that MLS rejected two official Arsenal offers for Ream last year.

And just to be clear, I am not stepping on or challenging Bell's reporting. He was told something that is only true if you specifically qualify it, which did not happen. So... that's all I have to say about that for now. I won't be filing a report on this, but there's the full truth.

UPDATE: I should also add that this is no attempt to step on the toes of NYRB. They can do or reveal whatever they wish, I totally understand, they are well within their right to play a situation how they see fit. I don't want it to seem like there's some "bad guy" being made out here.

UPDATE UPDATE: More emails with the same question - makes it easy. No, I did not find this out from MLS because I work for the website. The MLS office would not tell me the recipe for sugar water if I got them drunk and tickled them until they had to pee. If I walked in holding the evidence, they would not confirm it. Seriously. I get absolutely no help in such matters because I work for for a league tributary. As always, I report independently. No conflict of interest or special favors here.

- Greg Seltzer


Evan said...

greg, the fact that you can keep your mouth shut on that is amazing, fair play to you.

any word on why they were turned down or what the offer was? also, can you see this happening at this point (arsenal did loose koscienly today)

Greg Seltzer said...

I'd gather they were turned down because they did not want to part with a budding American talent so quickly. Remember, they did that once with Bradley - sold him for peanuts and watched Heerenveen get 15 times as much for him a few years later. I'd say that episode had some effect, even though it wasn't the current GM.

As for the offer amounts... let's just say that I think Bell's estimate may be a little low. Of course, he's just repeating what he was told by someone.

Sanjit said...

Props for sitting on this info, that can't be easy.

Greg Seltzer said...

It just wasn't a story at the time I found out, so I tried to sit on it in case it became one again. If I put it out there cold, then every reporter will be looking for it, including many who can simply go ask in person any time they want.

Some things I'm asked to hold. This one I held by choice. Those aren't so bad, really. Just part of the job I'm used to by now.

The only ones that make me squirm are when I have a juicy portion of a story - not enough info or no confirmation - and I know it's only a matter of time before somebody else gets wind of it.

With this one, it seemed that we got beyond Emirates Cup with it staying secret. Apparently not.

Darius said...

I presume clubs are still kicking the tires on Agudelo? Amirite?

The thing to remember about these bids from big clubs is that they--the big clubs--often like to make a lot of small sized transfer bets on speculative talent. See--for a very successful example--Shinji Kagawa for Borussia Dortmund.

heythisisrobbie said...

There are only about 5 teams that Arsenal "sells up" to. If NY is really that worried Arsenal would sell Ream to Barcelona in a few years for a profit, include a sell-on clause.

It is absurd that MLS teams are so reluctant to sell their players. Take the money, re-invest in youth, and start all over again. They act like they can challenge the Premier Legue in a few years or something.

What the MLS should do is take notes from the Dutch league. They have carved put quite the nitche for themselves in the soccer world by developing youngsters.

I'm not happy about that news, but thanks for sharing Greg. I love this blog.