New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long has reportedly emerged as a winter transfer target of Premier League powerhouse Liverpool FC, a development that’s turned plenty of heads on either side of the pond.
MLSsoccer.com’s Tom Bogert has reported that teams in France and England’s Championship have also shown interest, increasing momentum behind the 2018 MLS Defender of the Year possibly moving to Europe. In 2019, RBNY reportedly rejected "multiple bids" from Premier League side West Ham for Long's services.
As transfer reports rev up, Long spoke with Counter Attack, a SiriusXM FC show, while at the US men’s national team’s January camp. They’re playing Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday in an international friendly, with deadline day in England coming Monday night.
“I don’t want to play the hypothetical,” Long said. “I definitely said that my goals and aspirations are to hopefully one day be in Europe. I’m not going to put a timeline on it by any means. I don’t want to say that that’s where I need to be by a certain date because then if that doesn't happen, have I failed my goal? For now, I’m just worried on Trinidad. I just really want to show well in this game and let my agent handle the rest.”
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬 𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 @USMNT 🇺🇸!— SiriusXM FC 157 ⚽️📻 (@SiriusXMFC) January 30, 2021
Aaron Long opens up to @TMeola1 & @BrianDunseth about his name being bounced around in the transfer window.
𝗙𝘂𝗹𝗹 𝗜𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 ➡️ https://t.co/fUTB2mfU4k pic.twitter.com/a5Ud8Zx1dC
Long has eight goals and three assists in 105 matches (100 starts) for RBNY, emerging as one of the league’s top center backs. He’s also appeared in 18 USMNT games, scoring three times.
That background could make Long an enticing addition for several teams across Europe. He’s eager to test himself, though is staying focused on his RBNY duties as their first full season under head coach Gerhard Struber nears.
“Hopefully, if the cards fall that way, then I’ll get that experience as well,” Long said. “But if not, I’m a New York Red Bull player and I’m going to do my best to win a trophy with the club.”
Should Long head to Europe, he’d join USMNT center back Mark McKenzie in moving overseas this winter. McKenzie went from the Philadelphia Union to Belgium’s Genk, while FC Dallas right back Bryan Reynolds (awaits senior US debut) is reportedly heading to Italy’s Serie A. That’s on top of Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris joining Championship side Swansea City on loan, as well as Brenden Aaronson officially departing Philadelphia for Austria’s RB Salzburg.
For more from Long, check out his entire SiriusXM FC interview here.