John-to-Blackburn transfer moving closer to completion

George John

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AMSTERDAM — FC Dallas defender George John has been allowed to leave the club to sort out his paperwork ahead of a potential move to Blackburn Rovers, MLSsoccer.com has learned. John is currently on a roundabout trip to Greece and England that could eventually lead to a move to the English Premier League side.

"The fee has been agreed in principle," John’s agent, Theodore Philipakos, told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. "We haven't negotiated personal terms with Blackburn. Dallas and MLS have allowed him to travel, and we're taking steps toward that."

John, 24, is a dual citizen of the United States and Greece. He is due to arrive in Athens on Tuesday with his agent in order to obtain a Greek identification card for use in his UK work permit registration.

FCD, however, emphasized that the deal is not completed yet.

“George flew to Greece [on Monday] to take care of passport issues," FCD president and CEO Doug Quinn confirmed in a statement. "We are talking to Blackburn about a possible transfer, but no deal is finalized at this time."

Once John receives the proper documentation, he will head to Ewood Park for contract talks with Rovers, provided there is basis for a deal.

Since being picked 14th in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, John has worked 68 regular-season contests for FC Dallas. He became a first-choice center back in 2010 and started the MLS Cup final last November, which FCD lost to the Colorado Rapids.

Based on his strong performances, John was called into US national team last December, but an injury ruled him out. An injury also kept him from accepting a June call-up to the Greek national team.

Should he join Blackburn, the Seattle-area native would become the fifth American to suit up for the club, following in the footsteps of Brad Friedel, Jermaine Jones, Jemal Johnson and David Yelldell. John would also become the second MLS veteran in Rovers' back line, joining captain and former D.C. United man Ryan Nelsen.