Sometimes things are so unwieldly and certain responses take so long because not everyone appreciates what I do quite so much as NSC devotees. So here's the deal: it's Brek Shea spill time and everyone else can just catch up to us.
The following is a list of 15 clubs I have fully confirmed (through a seeming source cast-of-thousands) that were in the house to watch Shea either in Belgium last month or New Jersey last week:
Anderlecht, AZ Alkmaar, Blackburn, Bolton, Fulham, Hamburg, Liverpool, Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven, Roda JC, Sporting CP, Stoke City, Sunderland, Werder Bremen, West Ham United
This list does not cover every team who sent someone to check him out in a recent USMNT friendly. There are at least another 6-8 clubs that were there, but have remained hidden to me - so far. I also have good reason to believe that a La Liga club was on hand in Brussels, but despite them being the obvious candidate, I've yet to nail down for sure that it was longtime admirer Atlético Madrid. There is also some smoke coming from a couple of other countries that I'll skip around dishing on for now.
To the related matters: I cannot confirm any of the other big brand EPL names mentioned in tabloid stories, but the one where I've actually had some smoke is Chelsea - again, that is not confirmation of interest, it means some clues I've found do point to it actually being real. I can confirm any tales of battling offers are bunk, as there are no serious moves for him taking place at this time.
I cannot stress enough the last half of that last sentence for those who will want to use these revelations as claims that I stated so-and-so have offered a bazillion dollars for Shea. There, I said it.
As for reports out of Italy, I cannot personally expose any Serie A teams as suitors. However, I can tell you that a few Italian agents have called about Shea on behalf of a few mystery clubs there. I have a couple of keen clues on two of them, but I'm gonna hold off with that until the trails lead me to confirmations.
And, of course, we know Schalke are interested, as they made the "How much?" phone call at the deadline. I was not able to confirm they were in Brussels last month, but it's a fairly safe bet you can add them to my list.
So, for the most part, you now know what I know. By the time an MLSS report version shows up, there may be a few new names on the confirmed scouting list.
UPDATE: Silly me. With so much to spill, I forgot one key element. FC Dallas are aware of all the hubbub and remain insistent that they do not want to part with Shea. That about sums that up.
- Greg Seltzer