Postcard from Europe: 'Tis the season for transfer buzz
AMSTERDAM — Like Christmas music at the mall, the silly season arrives sooner every year for American players.
Luckily, Santa Seltzer is here to help you separate the coal from the candy when it comes to which Americans are on which foreign club’s wish list.
While much of the following is here to differentiate between truth and rumor, there are also a few gifts of new info to unwrap. It's office party season and this is my version. Just make sure you call a cab.
Over recent months, both Stuttgart and Wolfsburg have been linked with the FC Nürnberg right back.
For Der Club, the common drill when a club comes calling for a player is to scare them off with the asking price. It's happened several times already, so it’s not surprising that reports of interest from bigger clubs vanish quickly.
Set to return to Sochaux after a D.C. United loan spell, Davies is currently finalizing a move to another club in Europe.
The persistent Everton rumors, while believable in some ways, make no sense considering the Toffees have no money to spend and a work permit seems unlikely.
What we do know is that the new deal is being done stealthily, and, despite the Bordeaux link — they’ve had no contact — it seems to be with a club outside of France.
Just assume the phone is always ringing for Deuce. Also assume the club isn’t picking it up unless the caller is a Champions League club in France or Italy ready to make a big enough offer.
Some might think Arsenal, Tottenham or another EPL club higher up the food chain might swoop in, but it seems unlikely any of them would pay the Cottagers’ asking price (think eight figures British sterling) for Dempsey.
The price tag also would scare off almost any Bundesliga side — even if several of them would love to see him in their shirt.
There's a lot going on behind the scenes with Stabæk — a transfer violation case pending with the Norwegian federation that could undo the club’s shot at qualifying for the next Europa League through the UEFA Fair Play prize — but up front, here’s the deal on Mix.
Clubs outside Norway are quietly watching the situation, while domestic sides Tromsø and Lillestrøm are among the Tippeligaen outfits sniffing around.
A mitigating factor for any move is that Diskerud’s current deal has a release clause for next summer’s Olympics, if he is called in by the US. Lots of ifs, but not insurmountable ones.
As reported this week, Rangers have been trying for a few weeks to extend the US midfielder's contract.
“He's one of these guys who doesn't always catch the eye,” manager Ally McCoist told the club website. "But if you ask his teammates about him, they'll say he always gives performances that are helpful to the side."
This has come on the heels of reported interest from French clubs Auxerre, Bordeaux and Nancy, and English side Blackburn. Whether it is enough to keep Edu at Ibrox looks quite up in the air right now.
Aston Villa have begun talks on a new deal with the summer free agent.
“I know there are discussions ongoing with my agent so it is a case of seeing what happens,” Guzan told the Birmingham Mail.
Having shown well in his Villa appearances (a 13-3-6 record, with five clean sheets), including his winning performance last weekend in his first EPL start for the club, Guzan would be able to pick from a handful of English admirers. But word is he is leaning toward an extension.
The free agent right-sider recently was on trial with Swedish second-flighters Hammarby.
Hill earned the opportunity through former MLS midfielder Chris Klein, who in turn was instrumental in getting former Galaxy teammate Gregg Berhalter his new gig as manager of Hammarby. Berhalter told the ExtraTime Radio podcast this week that he’s definitely open to bringing in American talent.
A free agent now, this former Aalborg BK prospect isn't looking for a club at the moment — he’s too busy rehabbing the tendonitis in his knees that has kept him largely bottled up since signing in 2009.
Tracy is hoping that battle will be finally won this summer. Once fit, his agent told MLSsoccer.com last week the plan is to go in search of a club in MLS. Tracy was drafted in 2009 by the Houston Dynamo.