The New York Red Bulls keep on playing their immigrant song, this time targeting Swedish attacking midfielder Tobias Grahn (no relation to Tobias Fünke) according to the Swedish press.
Grahn became surplus goods to his current side, Mjällby of the Swedish top flight, when they acquired midfielder Dominique Kivuvu earlier this month.. Grahn, 31, has had stops all over Scandinavia, which makes him perfect for the Red Bulls' Viking braintrust. He also had a brief detour to the Spanish Segunda, and a 13-game loan to Hertha BSC in Germany.
Along the way he picked up a handful of caps with his national team, scoring one goal in four appearances.
"Yes, we talked to Del Piero; yes, we talked to Ballack; yes, we spoke to Anelka; yes, we talked to Trezeguet."
That's Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo telling the story of his team's pursuit of a high-profile Designated Player. Of the four mentioned, three are already out of the mix: Alessandro Del Piero prefers New York or LA, Nicolas Anelka signed for big, big bucks in China, and David Trezeguet is trying to lead River Plate out of the Argentine second flight.
That leaves Michael Ballack, the 35-year-old former German captain who's been on MLS radars for at least two years. Saputo says his team's fans "deserve a Designated Player" - but not at "any price." Ballack is free to leave current club Bayer Leverkusen, where's he's been largely disappointing, but even so he won't come cheap.
Former San Jose Earthquakes, FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake forward Arturo Álvarez appears to be on his way to Portugal, thanks to a two-year deal with Rio Ave.
Álvarez, 26, appeared in 16 games for Real Salt Lake in 2011 but struggled to find the form he showed with both the Quakes and FCD from 2005-10, and RSL parted ways with him after the season. (Arturo Álvarez firmaría con club portugués Rio Ave, Elsalvador.com)
We've heard rumors of this in recent weeks, apparently it's true. Is this odd timing, considering the preseason is underway?
— Richard Motzkin (@RichardMotzkin) January 27, 2012
If internet fan forums and Google translate are to be believed, ex-FC Dallas and Toronto FC striker Peri Marosevic has landed himself a trial with Silkeborg IF of the Danish Superliga. The Jutlanders - who are comfortably mid-table with 26 points from 18 games - have a host of players in for a look as they gear up for the second half of the season. (SIF4ever.dk - 1/26/2012)
Who says you can't go home again?
Former Vancouver Whitecaps DP Mustapha Jarju is returning to the scene of his greatest successes as a footballer: RAEC Mons. The Gambian international scored 34 goals in 99 league matches for the Belgian club between 2008-11. He scored none in 10 appearances for the 'Caps, a record which didn't quite inspire new manager Martin Rennie to keep him around for a second year.
It looks like Jason Kreis & Co. aren't finished making additions to their back line.
Real Salt Lake have brought in a number of trialists for preseason, including one who had an ocean to cross to get to Utah. His name is Terukazu Tanaka, and he's a fullback from Sagan Tosu of the J-League. (KIRSoccer - January 25, 2012)