AMSTERDAM — Once again, it's time to clear out my scratch pad for some noteworthy news about Americans playing in Europe.
If there's a rotten rumor, we'll squash it and it's squashing time.
We begin in Birmingham where, over the weekend, The Mirror claimed that Aston Villa were in hot pursuit of Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones. On Tuesday, however, his agent told MLSsoccer.com the story is bunk. And that's that.
One US international actually involved in a transfer quandary does wear the claret and sky blue of the Villans: goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
First off, a source close to the player told MLSsoccer.com not to expect a decision until the season has ended. Beyond that, we can confirm that the likes of former loan employers Hull City, Ipswich Town, Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion have at the very least called over Guzan.
While the presumptive US No. 2 is eager to be a starter somewhere, by waiting until summer to pick his future he can likely expect more options — perhaps even including some on the continent. After all, free EPL-capable netminders do not grow on trees.
Hopefully Tom Petty was right
Just down the block, Birmingham City handyman Jonathan Spector departed Tuesday night's loss at Leicester City with a thigh complaint.
We'll need to wait until Thursday to find out his prognosis, but the Brums are hoping that the waiting is the hardest part. (Get it?) A club spokesman told MLSsoccer.com that manager Chris Hughton does not expect the injury to be serious.
The Waiting, part deux
Bundesliga giants Stuttgart have quietly been trying to negotiate the capture of FC Nürnberg right-sider Timothy Chandler for several weeks now. A Monday check with his agent found nothing new to report.
While Der Club have often played sticker shock to drive away interested buyers, sources indicated to MLSsoccer.com that they are now more willing to talk deal with Chandler set to enter the final year of his contract this summer.
So what has stalled Stuttgart's drive in talks? Perhaps it's as simple as they feel it's best to wait until the season ends, when they can dump some big salaries through contract expirations, releases and transfers.
More likely it is that Stuttgart are forced to wait because they cannot afford Chandler unless they reach Europe, which for now stands four points away. Meanwhile, Nürnberg have won three of four to pull to within two points of the Schwabians.
The Bundesliga has nine games left, and that also seems exactly how long Stuttgart has to prove they really want Chandler. Win, baby, win — and then we'll talk.
The Torch carrier
If you didn't figure it out when Mikkel Diskerud was named to Olympic camp now gathered in Nashville, Tenn., the Gent loan midfielder safely secured his contractual right to participate in all Olympic activities on the way out of Stabæk.
And if it's not clearly implicit, yes, that means he had to give something to get something. Mix will literally pay to go for gold in a United States shirt.