Postcard from Europe: Which US stars are on the move?
AMSTERDAM — With England already open for shop and the rest of the European majors slated to follow suit come July, the summer transfer silly season is well underway. We're here to get serious about the transfer possibilities surrounding seven prominent American Exports.
Buckle up, this ride gets bumpy until September.
Freddy Adu (Benfica)
It's a little premature to discuss potential landing spots, but after a quality Rizespor stint, let's just say there will probably be a few clubs in Europe and likely some in MLS that will be watching carefully what he does at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Though Adu is clearly not in the plans of Eagles boss Jorge Jesus the last couple seasons, it's at least worth mentioning that four of Benfica's top five forwards are in heavy transfer-page rotation these days. Things can change quickly for Adu — who, incredibly, turns only 22 on Thursday — over the course of a month away on international duty as his loan deal runs out.
Our prediction: This case needs the wildest guess of all, so don't put any stock in it. It would be nice to see him step up a level to the Turkish top flight — how about a goal-shy outfit like surprise Europa League side Gaziantepspor?
Jozy Altidore (Villarreal)
Speaking of players with extra at stake during Gold Cup, word out of Villarreal has the club looking to sell the young US striker. On Tuesday, he told ExtraTime Radio that he's thinking along the same lines with a view to more playing time.
MLSsoccer.com has learned that Altidore has some mild interest in England and the Netherlands. Loan employers Bursaspor badly want to bring him back permanently, but that's never really looked in the cards. Unless he goes medieval on CONCACAF this month, this dish is probably going to cook low and slow with lots of continental flavor.
Our prediction: At absolute most, four Eredivisie clubs could conceivably afford him. Two of those have held a long gaze and Dutch coaches tend to believe they can bloom goals where others couldn't. It would be smart to get Jozy a highly educational job with one of them. It could only happen if Balázs Dzsudzsák is sold, but PSV Eindhoven need a new big striker.
Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro)
Last season, it's fair to say the ÖSK midfield engine was only a few strikes shy of making the all-Allsvenskan XI with just two to his credit. Ten games into the new term, he's an early MVP candidate with four goals and two helpers. And he's out of contact this winter. Not bad timing for the late Gold Cup add.
The fun part here is he could still play nine league games before the Swedish transfer windows opens on August 1. It might be best if Örebro made a note to order extra grub for the hospitality box this summer. They should expect lots of company. He's already trained with relegated but Europa League-invited Birmingham City, and been scouted in person by the likes of FC Groningen, Kaiserslautern and Rangers.
A Dutch report also claimed AZ Alkmaar came to see the Miami-raised Bedoya against Kalmar in early May. Kaasboeren technical director Earnie Stewart admitted to MLSsoccer.com that he was in the house — just not specifically to see the American. Of course, he still saw Bedoya score that day.
Our prediction: This race is wide open, so this is another stab in the dark. The Brums are probably set to offload a couple of pricey items, giving them the funds to offer Bedoya a very interesting opportunity.
Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Though he's slated to rejoin the Foals, we’re told Aston Villa are going to make a transfer offer if they haven't already. Bradley is also still perhaps the top American target not holding a European Union passport on AS Roma's browsing list.
Meanwhile, back in Germany, 'Gladbach want very much to keep him. Count Bradley as another guy who could benefit afterwards from a strong Gold Cup showing. He has loads of former suitors out there and crushes re-ignite all the time.
Our prediction: The idea of a proper Villa Park reboot from preseason sounds good.
Clint Dempsey (Fulham)
While farthest here from being the most likely to move this summer, let's not assume he'll stay for another Europa League crack. As much as that appeals to him, for the first time, our sense is his Cottagers socks could be knocked off by something special.
Widely reported interest from Paris-Saint Germain is both true and serious from the club's end, but their missing out on a Champions League berth may have altered things. Due to his attack handyman use at Fulham, Deuce was never a serious candidate on Roma's list, but he has a host of old Serie A admirers and we’ve learned that an EPL team of some repute has made recent calls.
The truth is, the buzz never really dies down around Dempsey. Of all American players, his interest links are usually the most believable.
Our prediction: Until Deuce says he's looking elsewhere or a glamour shot comes about, let's assume he remains with Fulham.
Brad Friedel (Aston Villa)
Everybody and their mother has tried to report Big Brad off to a number of locales over recent weeks. This week, it's Tottenham. Last week, it was Liverpool. Galatasaray, Schalke and West Bromwich Albion have also been heavily linked with moves.
Some breathlessly insist the signing is nigh, some say it's about length of deal, while others make it about Champions League. One never knows with the UK tabloids and we've only now hit June. Long story short: All of these clubs and more are interested to some extent, but folks must calm down.
With Friedel angling for his last big deal, this scene will be allowed to play out to its fullest. There is also a potential wildcard with supposed interest from wealthy clubs in the Middle East. Even if he wouldn't go there — and let's not say he wouldn't — the presence of such bidders could drive his price some.
Our prediction: We'll swim with the stream and tab Spurs today — but don't be shocked if he eventually lands a Champions League chance. Wouldn't it be crazy if needy Arsenal nicked him at the last minute?
Jermaine Jones (Schalke)
Following a largely successful loan stint with Blackburn, Jones seems likely to opt for something that isn't returning to the Miners. Nobody's said that, but it's definitely in the air next to that 800-pound gorilla.
Rovers have made it well known that they are trying to get the price right for Jones. MLSsoccer.com has also learned he's also recently jumped up the Roma target rankings with that magical EU passport.
Our prediction: A return to Blackburn looks the odds-on favorite for now.