Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Kooky.

Taylor Twellman is correct. It is not done, but Toronto FC are in serious talks for Roma midfielder Michael Bradley. I've been told the asking price will be right in the neighborhood of Sunderland's failed summer offer, that it is likely to happen and that Roma are not happy about it all.

This is super-kooky to me on several levels, but right now I'm fairly baffled because a couple hours ago his Italian representation told me there were still no offers. Soooo either this offer situation sprang up just now or I got blown a smokescreen. If it is the latter, I am not amused. Even if it is the former, I am confused.

There will be more discussion on this, whether it goes through or not. For now, I am back to phones.



- Greg Seltzer

67 comments:

Timmy said...

Ugh. Any idea if it's a long-term deal? Given everything I've ever heard MB say, I'd be floored if he came back to the states at this point in his career. Floored.

RobUsry said...

How the...

Why in the....

I'm going to go cry myself to sleep.

Paolo said...

Mamma mia!! The only thing that makes any sense is that he's simply homesick or tired of schlepping across Europe - Landon Donovan but with more mileage. He can obviously make that kind of money elsewhere, or in his pick of MLS towns in 3-4 years. No reason for this now except that it's a personal, non-career decision. If so I respect it but it saddens me.

Jolazo said...

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

I hate this. I hate this so much.

The Brain said...

It's one thing to be Clint at age 30. But this...

Greg Seltzer said...

I anxiously await more details, trust me.

Yeah, this would be perplexing for me on many levels and in multiple directions. For now, I will just keep trying to figure it out.

9a7b308e-77ba-11e3-9a6b-000f20980440 said...

I thought Bradley was smarter than this, hope it's just the transfer window being the transfer window.

Paolo said...

Uh - could it be just until summer when he gets more options in Europe? Would TFC have interest in doing this just for 3 months?

Jolazo said...

I imagine Klinsmann is ecstatic about this. His three best players are heading to MLS instead of trying to "prove themselves at the highest level." I understand Bradley making a lateral or downward move from Roma for playing time, but Toronto FC. WTF?

So he's gonna take the next 2 months off, then play 2.5 months of MLS prior to the World Cup.

I wonder how much Bradley's new kid has in this decision? Family was big reason why Deuce made the move.

poopopopop said...

God, I hope this is unfounded. Maybe it's a confused rumor from when another bald guy with the name Bradley was rumored to be moving to Toronto as coach.

9a7b308e-77ba-11e3-9a6b-000f20980440 said...

Would make no sense at all, he'll be out of form and getting less games than he is now. Literally, this makes no sense for a pre-World Cup move.

Greg Seltzer said...

As of 10 minutes ago, these are not loan talks. Is it obvious how paranoid I am now about something quickly changing dramatically?

Jon said...

I'm beginning to question the agents of our players.

One dumb move after another.

jon said...

Indeed strange. I was hoping to come here and find Greg saying it's just a pre-World Cup loan or maybe a short term contract (not sure such a thing exists in MLS -- at least not one that favors the player). I can't recall a specific example of his saying it, but MB has to have expressed some Champions League ambitions, right? And Roma are well poised for qualification. With Clint I was shocked but his particular destination was more what left me unsettled (PTFC and all). But I'm having a harder time reconciling my love of MLS with my selfish desire to see MB succeed at the highest level possible.

UnitedDemon said...

There is no word for how #$%^ed this is.

Paolo said...

Bradley's one of the very few players who could sit on his as$ or 6 months and still be a shoo-in starter in Brazil. So what Klinsmann thinks may be irrelevant.

GD said...

I hate this move.

But does TFC have an available DP slot? They already have Gilberto and Laba, plus they are signing Dafoe...possibly Gilardino and now Bradley? Or does the young dp (Laba) not count...

SleeStaxx said...

Greg getting smokescreened on info. from agent... out of nowhere "almost done deal reporting from Ginger and SoccerSlapChop Twellman... No DP room at TFC without Defoe having walked... Dunno, this sounds all real fishy...

Paolo said...

This could be a big Bradley family middle finger to Europe for underrating Americans despite their achievements - "Pops was forced to coach at the North Pole and I'm being treated as a sixth man just because I'm American... screw them all"

Greg Seltzer said...

For what it is worth, I am told Gilardino is definitely not coming to Toronto.

Tom said...

Dude. What? This doesn't seem awesome.

Jayboy said...

Bradley is making $1.1M USD at Roma (one of the lowest salaries on the team). If TFC comes in at $5-6M, that's a gigantic increase. The fan part of my brain obviously wants him to make that much money by working his way up to a Champions League team, but the finance side of my brain says "take the money."

He started his career making $35k at Metrostars/RB...

Jay said...

Gilardino has been off the table for a month now, hasn't he?

Laba might be coming off the DP list -- only makes $200k, according to the player's union documents. Big loser in this is going to be Jonathan Osorio, since it's his starting position that gets axed.

SleeStaxx said...

Laba is at $200,000 against the cap as a young DP. If they take him off DP his whole transfer fee is applied across the cap and at 1.5 million for 500k on a 3 year which they make work how???

Greg Seltzer said...

I am not sure how long it has been. I was replying to his Gilardino concern above, as I had just been told there is no chance of resurrection there.

SleeStaxx said...

OK - so they are going to trade Laba to make it fly... there's that answered... http://www.thestar.com/sports/tfc/2014/01/08/tfc_signs_tottenham_striker_jermain_defoe.html

Jay said...

I haven't known how the process works for taking someone off of the DP tag. Is that how it works? Transfer fee + total wage / contract length = cap hit? Can it be bought down with allocation money?

Someone has to move, if they're getting Defoe as well, because that's four DPs. Gilberto was a higher transfer fee, and I presume a higher wage, too, although he was added to the roster late enough that he isn't in the MLSPU docs. Is there any chance Defoe won't be a DP? That seems ridiculous.

Jay said...

Makes sense. Laba has been one of the few bright spots for TFC in the last year; I wouldn't want to sell him off that quickly. Trade makes sense; Chicago has made a greasy meal out of making DPs disappear (ref. Federico Puppo and Alvaro Fernandez), and Seattle has started milking it, too.

Jay said...

s/Trade/Loan.

josh @ totalsoccershow.com said...

Isn't this the same thing MLS did w/ Dempsey? They saw an opportunity (out of seemingly nowhere) and within hours the negotiations had gotten very serious.

Greg Seltzer said...

That is precisely one of the main things I am trying to find out.

9a7b308e-77ba-11e3-9a6b-000f20980440 said...

This is legitimately making me feel ill. He is the long term replacement for De Rossi and more suited to Roma's actual needs in that position. I was expecting something like this to happen post World Cup after he announced himself to the World Stage.

SleeStaxx said...

Strootman, Panjic, De Rossi and now Nainggolan in the midfield at Roma??? Bradley was right to leave... He's a class palyer but his competition for playing time is world class... Just wish it was at a competitive side in one of Europe's top leagues...

Greg Seltzer said...

As I said, it is a midfield for Europe with no European games to play. Yet.

mark said...

Bingo which is why Roma was in no rush to move him

Patrick said...

How much of the blame for this and Dempsey, and probably Altidore soon enough, falls to the American soccer media for totally giving Donovan a pass for taking it easy in MLS all these years?

Bryan said...

I feel roughly the same way I did when I first saw the USA's World Cup group - shock and doom, followed by light and optimism.

I just don't think this is as bad as many of you are making it out to be, but I'm an optimist. Let's hear Bradley's reasonings before jumping to any conclusions.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Patrick: Ha! I was not aware Donovan was a given a totally free pass by the media all these years. Either way, I cannot imagine your theory had or has any effect.

Bryan said...

Oh, and reportedly he's going from $600k to $6-6.5 million a year. Let's see some of you turn that down! :)

mark said...

Queue Jones to the MLS and Klinsmanns head exploding

Tyler.B said...

He's not on $600k. He's on 800Euro last I saw.

Bryan said...

Sorry, meant $800k, was thinking about to many sixes. And yes, correct, 800m Euro.

Still...no brainer...

Greg Seltzer said...

Not to diminish the point completely, but I believe that salary figure is net, not gross.

Timmy said...

There are rumors bouncing around that Roma is listening to other offers - specifically from Werder Bremen and Wolsfburg.

How much control does Bradley have over the situation?

Greg Seltzer said...

It is almost certainly too late for me to learn anything new today, but I will be back at it in the morning.

As for his say, well, he can accept or reject any move they put in front of him.

Greg Seltzer said...

By the way, my instant reaction to those two names is that neither can afford him.

BTM said...

My instant reaction to Toronto was that they couldn't afford him.

Greg Seltzer said...

Owned by Maple Leaf Sports? Yeah, they can afford him. Right now, most German clubs cannot (or would not) spring 7-8M Euros on one central midfielder.

Jeffrey said...

Let's say it happens. Does he potentially put in a European loan prior to TFC preseason, or is that window too small?

Greg Seltzer said...

Yikes, I do not know that my brain can handle the thought of another layer of twist. I think one of the Toronto papers reported he would have the time off before the TFC preseason.

Jonathan Wallace said...

Here's the only way I can grok this from Bradley's perspective. He makes the move to TFC for match fitness in front of the WC, then looks for another transfer in the Fall back to Europe after what is hopefully a solid showing in Brazil. TFC could make a profit by flipping him while benefitting short term from marketing appeal. Is this feasible Greg?

Unknown said...

I think Bradley sees the writing on the wall: Team USA is going to get blown out in Brazil, and it's going to make Bradley look less valuable than he does right now. Better to cash in whilst he still can. It's still a shame though. I'd rather see him go to Staebak with papa.

jon said...

Ha! Your whole comment is certainly worthy of the "unknown" moniker. First of all, an overzealous MLS team would likely be willing to shell out for him this summer or next January regardless of how the USMNT does in Brazil (NYCFC/2015 springs to mind). And you'd seriously rather see him in Norway than in MLS? Although, speaking of Bob, imagine the storylines if he had taken the Vancouver job.

Unknown said...

i admit i was being a bit facetious with the comment about him playing in the tippeligaen. and yes, MLS clubs would still be willing to pay for him, but perhaps not as much. Right now, he can leverage offers from other clubs. When those other offers aren't quite as generous after a dismal Brazil 2014, MLS clubs won't have to meet as high of an asking price.

Arcticrules said...

Bradley made the roma squad list for the sampdoria. Match tomorrow. Does that mean anything re the accuracy of these reports?

John said...

@Paolo: What he thinks is not irrelevant.

WilkersonMclaser said...

NBC saying it's pretty much done: http://prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com/2014/01/08/michael-bradley-transfer-fee-contract-salary-toronto-fc-mls/. Is that true?

I'm a big MLS fan, so yeah, it's good for the league, and it's hard to say a 6x pay raise doesn't also make it a good thing for Mikey. I'm also happy to see him say arrivederci to all the hater Roma fans who never gave him a chance.

But the horror that a lot of American fans have, many of them MLS watchers, come back to this sense that our guys who have what it takes to make the naysayers eat crow -- Dempsey, Bradley -- are calling it quits before they *make it*.

If Bradley comes back, does this mean Geoff Cameron is our best field player in Europe? Aron Johannsson? Let that sink in.



Paolo said...

John, of course what JK matters, he's the coach,but what I am saying is that I couldn't possibly foresee a scenario where Bradley isn't a starter in Brazil just because he didn't follow the Klinsmann edict of testing yourself at the highest level. There would be a Port Said style revolt if he sat a healthy Bradley, not to mention that JK is not an idiot. In other words, JK wanting all playerswho can to test themselves in Europe prior to the WC is not going to mean much to Bradley if he wants to play on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Jolazo said...

@WilkersonMclaser

It's probably still Jozy, but those 2 are in better form. Maybe Fabian or Bedoya.

The Streetsweeper said...

So here, as I see it, is The Score.

These are the two main goals of US Soccer:

1. Boast a domestic league that rivals Europe's top four within the next 10-15 years.

2. Boast a national team that consistently ranks among the world's top 8 within the next 10-15 years. (As in, Pot 1 material)

The question is, can we really achieve #1 with our best players consistently leaving to play overseas?

I would contend that the answer is no. Which begs the question, is goal #1 a worthwhile goal? As someone who has labored for a number of years in the front offices of MLS and the USL I would say yes.

It is a worthwhile goal on several levels.

A. We are blessed in this nation to have the financial resources to support such a league, and it would be so much fun to have that kind of quality in our backyard.

B. Ultimately, the more powerful our domestic league, the more comprehensive our youth development. The more comprehensive our youth development...(see Goal #2)

At the end of the day the question is this: what would be more satisfying? A handful of American players playing in The Champions League in 2015, or a handful of MLS teams capable of competing in the Champions League by 2025?

Bradley will be 37 in 2025. Francesco Totti turned 37 this September.

Two MC's can't occupy the same space at the same time.

John said...

@Paolo: Now that I will agree. I still hope that the Bradley to Toronto deal breaks down asap.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Arcticrules


It certainly means something with the accuracy of reports that say the deal is done. But, no, these talks are real and serious. And there is always the possibility another club could still come in with an accepted bid to compete for his services.


@ WilkersonMclaser said...

When I went to sleep, it was not done.


The Streetsweeper said...

What would be more satisfying? How about both things?

WilkersonMclaser said...

Greg, any veracity to the talk of PSV throwing their hay in the race? www.soccernews.com/psv-confirm-interest-romas-bradley/135762/

The article says MB isn't terribly keen on going back to Holland, but does manner mention of other offers on tap. Any light you could shed on this? Thanks

WilkersonMclaser said...

Sorry about the typos. Writing on my phone.

dikranovich said...

streetsweeper, do you think MLS officials should be working on winning concacaf events and winning copa sud America and maybe getting into copa liberatadores and not worry about being on par with the top four leagues in Europe so much?

maybe it is just a way of thinking, but my guess is if you went back to 2000, MLS oficials said they wanted to be on par with euros top 4 in 15 to 20 years.

maybe it is one of the reason lower division sides in north America have done so well in some of these events.

justinwkoehn said...

Wilkerson - I don't see PSV coming even close to the $6MM offer from TFC. I'm hoping the offer was leaked on purpose before it was officially signed to increase interest in top flight teams with the cash to put in a competing offer, but it doesn't look good.

WilkersonMclaser said...

@Justin -- yeah, I didn't think they had that kind of cash to splurge. The Tottenham rumor still seems to be bouncing around, but it doesn't seem legit.

People are going to call me an MLS hater (which I'm not), but I'm kind of bummed about this deal in a way that I wasn't with Dempsey's.