It looks to be Spain or bust for Giovani dos Santos. And it appears the 22-year-old Mexican starlet is going to have to be content with bust for the time being.
Currently, dos Santos is training with Tottenham and pulling on a uniform every now and then in order to sit quietly on Harry Redknapp's bench. He has made just four appearances this season in EPL action, all as a sub, and in four years with the club, he's made 15 starts and gone out on loan three times (Ipswich Town, Galatasaray and Racing Santander). Clearly, that isn't enough playing time for a player who should be on the cusp of his best days as a professional.
Dos Santos acknowledges this. He wants a move. According to his representatives, clubs in Russia and the United States have made offers for him, giving "Gio" an immediate avenue out north London after a career-stalling stint with Spurs.
Apparently, though, Major League Soccer isn't of any interest to the 22-year-old Mexican starlet.
Here is the MLS-centric quote from dos Santos' representative, Vicente Montes, to cancha.com, which hit the web on Monday:
Ouch. At least Montes used the "with all due respect" precursor.
On first glance, Montes' words sound pretty harsh, especially if you're a fan of MLS or a young 20-something plying their trade on these shores. These 24 guys, especially, might have a bone to pick with that assessment.
Honestly, though, I can't really begrudge dos Santos (or his management) for having that mindset. He feels entitled to what he considers a fair shot in Europe. I get that. Fair enough. After all, this is a guy who scored a few scattered golazos for Barcelona as a youngster and has the talent to score absolutely filthy goals on the big stage.
Then again, nobody seems to be willing to pay Tottenham's asking price to bring dos Santos to their club, which should be a wake up call for a guy with tons of talent but little to show for it away from action with El Tri.
Is Montes' statement fair? Or is it ignorant blathering from a guy working for client who only has eyes for Spain?
On a more entertaining note, how would you respond to Montes using the "with all due respect" prelude?
Tim Ream sealed his long-awaited move to Bolton this week, but it doesn't appear Sébastien Le Toux will be joining him.
A report from Sportinglife.com on Friday included a quote from Bolton boss Owen Coyle that made a transfer that was once considered likely to go through appear dead in the water.
"Sébastien came in for a couple of days, and to be fair to him he hadn't trained for four or five weeks," Coyle told Sporting Life. "He did fine and that's where it is. We'd have probably needed a longer look."
By the sounds of it, Le Toux won't get that look, which is probably a blessing in disguise for Union fans loathe to lose their talisman.
Le Toux has been one of, if not the most, productive strikers in MLS during the past two seasons, but it was always going to be a huge challenge for him to walk onto an EPL training field and show much of anything when he hadn't played for weeks, especially against players in the meat-and-potatoes portion of their season.
If you've spent any time at MLSsoccer.com this week, you've got a pretty well-rounded understanding of Tim Ream's transfer to Bolton Wanderers, a sale that was long rumored but only recently completed.
There's still more to talk about today, specifically Ream and his new wife's sacrifice to get the deal done and his thoughts about where the move fits into his career trajectory. But there is even more that didn't have a logical destination, though that doesn't mean it isn't fascinating as well.
Check out even more insight from Ream below from his conference call with reporters on Friday.
On Stuart Holden's role in his transfer to Wanderers:
“He showed my wife and I around Manchester and took us out to dinner. We caught the Man U game with him. I think having him around will make the transition easier. I see how much he loves it there and how much he talked about the club and the people invlolved there. It definitely wasn’t the deciding factor, but he’s definitely eased my mind and helped in the transition.”
On the work permit process:
“We were pretty confident. I think there was only one point where we were 50-50. After seeing Robbie Rogers get his and having some of the people back us with some pretty good resumes, we were confident going in on Monday that we were going to get it.”
On the prospect, however unlikely, of facing former Red Bulls teammate Thierry Henry on February 1 when Bolton host Arsenal:
“That would be one heck of a storyline. I’ll be very honest: when this all started wrapping up and I saw that game on the schedule, it was something that I was aiming for just because of the headlines and being a teammate of Thierry’s just a few weeks ago.”
On where he stands within Jurgen Klinsmann's national team setup:
“I believe I’m in the mix, but at the same time I know that there are things that I have to work on and do better to solidify a spot as one of those center backs. I didn’t have a very good year with some of the games (I played) and the mistakes that I made. People make mistakes, and I learn more from mistakes than I do from playing really well. I’m going to take that and run with it and learn from it. Hopefully in the next year solidify my spot and make it on that World Cup roster.”