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