FC Dallas admit John transfer to Blackburn is possible
FRISCO, Texas — Both FC Dallas and George John confirmed for the first time on Friday reports which emerged on Thursday that English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers had submitted a bid for the big central defender. While they didn't acknowledge that a deal was imminent, they did admit the club was taking the bid seriously.
“Coach Schellas [Hyndman] told me last week that they made a bid for me and that’s all I really know right now,” John told reporters on Friday after the team’s walk-through session at Pizza Hut Park.
The 24-year-old is currently having a career year, helping Dallas lead the league in shutouts with 12 and even participating offensively with two goals off corner kicks. While Hyndman downplayed the rumors, saying “there is absolutely no news,” technical director Barry Gorman left open the possibility of a deal.
“We are coming back [from Mexico] and seeing all the Twitters and everything else so that’s out there,” Gorman said. “It could be nothing. It could be something that happens.”
The 6-foot-3 Greek and US dual citizen has become a vital centerpiece in FC Dallas’ back line over the past two seasons, using his long frame to clog passing lanes and dominate in the aerial game. Thus far in the 2011 season, he has started in each of his 24 appearances and, alongside center-back partner Ugo Ihemelu, created one of the stingiest central defenses in MLS.
John admitted that the bid from Blackburn “came out of nowhere” and it was unclear as to how the situation would unfold.
“It’s a good team, we’re a good team and I don’t know what’s going to happen,” John said, “so I may be here still, I may not, who knows? Obviously as a professional soccer player, you want to reach as far as you can. … It’s huge and if it happens that would be great.”
John — suspended for Saturday’s home game against the Seattle Sounders after receiving two yellow cards and a subsequent ejection in Philadelphia last weekend — added that the transfer decision was out of his hands as the European transfer window closes on August 31.
“I understand that FC Dallas as an organization and Major League Soccer have to make a decision,” John said. “So we will see how it goes, it is kind of out of my hands right now.”
Robert Casner covers FC Dallas for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached on Twitter: @robertmcasner