Archive for the ‘Transfer’ Category

More Subotic Rumors

December 19, 2008

Local paper Il Mattino is reporting that SSC Napoli is close to acquiring Neven Subotic from Borussia Dortmund. The 20 year-old defender seems to be part of Napoli’s plans to strengthen the squad after securing a Champions League berth during the home stretch of the season. He is expected at Castel Volturno in June where your loyal vagabond will be sure to have a word with him….if he shows up. Given the number of unfounded rumors which find their way into the local papers, I’ll believe this one when the clubs make an official announcement.

And guess who may actually be coming to Napoli (and could play alongside Subotic in central defense)? None other than hometown boy Fabio Cannavaro, the 2006 World Cup MVP currently under contract with Real Madrid. Current word in Napoli is that he may show up a January transfer to play alongside little brother Paolo Cannavaro who currently plays central defense. The idea that a dream central defense of the hometown Cannavaro brothers could be spoiled by signing Subotic also tells my spidey sense that he may not be coming to town.

Fabio has made it clear he’d like to finish his career in Napoli and the sputtering Real Madrid may want to let the ageing Italian international go to make room for new talent. If Subotic actually does arrive in June, it could get crowded talent-wise in central defense. Its not clear yet how coach Edy Reja would organize the influx of talent but one thing is clear, Napoli’s ambitions for the coming year are clear.

While the local papers are referring to Subotic as a “young American player,” Serbian coach Radomir Antic is now saying that the defender has committed to play for the White Eagles and will make his debut in February against Cyprus. Its hard to tell if this claim is true because Subotic has yet to make an announcement himself and he has been stating for months that he won’t decide on that matter until the end of the season. While it is plausible that he may have changed his mind in the midst of the Napoli deal, I remain skeptical on this one until we hear it from Neven himself.

Donovan in Munich: What Happens Next?

November 14, 2008

After a few days of training with Bayern Munich this week, the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan seems to have made a believer out of Bayern general manager Uli Hoeness who after watching him in practice told the Rheinischer Post “He can play.”

But even though Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann was already sold on the 26 year-old American and Hoeness now appears to be a believer, its still not clear if a deal will be in the offing. The question is not whether Donovan can contribute to the team, its whether he is a better option than Zenith’s Andrey Arshavin, Stuttgart’s Mario Gomez, or Fiorientina’s Adrian Mutu – all in the running to replace the soon-exiting Lukas Podolski.

The German press are calling a move for Donovan “risky” and are having a field day picking through his background with one (Rheinisher Post) even downplaying his recent 20 goal season by saying “…but the American soccer league is only at the level of third division football in Germany.” But even Donovan had to offer his own blunt assessment of MLS when he told the Sueddeutsche Zeiting: “On each team, there are at most 3 players that could hold their own in the Bundesliga and Bayern would easily win the championship.” He also told Spox.com that “All players in the Bundesliga are better than in the USA, from number one to number 22…many in the USA can’t play proper soccer.”

Another newspaper, Munich’s TZ , asked the question with its headline “Are You Good Enough For Bayern Mr. Donovan?” A few even think he can be purchased from MLS for around five million euros ($7 million) which would make him a cheaper option than Arshavin, Gomez, or Mutu – provided he can deliver the goods. This kind of press may not make it easy to explain if FC Hollywood signs this player from the real Hollywood and would put Donovan under a microscope from the beginning if he is signed.

But neither Klinsmann nor Hoeness are the type to make their decisions based on press clippings and both have no issues taking risks, especially Klinsmann. A decision is expected by the time his “guest training” ends next week and it could even be a loan until March, something Donovan did not rule out in an interview with Spox.com. When asked yesterday by the press if he thought he was ready to play for Bayern, Donovan answered in clear German ” Ich bin bereit.” (I’m ready)

Where is Gooch?

July 10, 2008


According to several Belgian press reports, Standard Liege does not know where to find its American defender Oguchi Onyewu. Despite much speculation about where Onyewu may transfer next year (Fulham, FC Cologne, French League), the team has started training and expected him at practice. Standard played a friendly match tonight against Amay without Onyewu and club officials report they have been trying to contact “Gooch” but have had no contact with him since June 22nd.

Is he taking a well deserved rest after a tiring year of club and international matches or are he and his agent trying to work out the perfect deal? Maybe both.

Heerenveen to Keep Bradley – Yeah Right!

July 9, 2008


Yesterday a club spokeman at Heerenveen mentioned that the club may decide to keep the 20-year-old instead of selling him for a reported €8.5 million. Don’t fall for it folks – this is just part of the transfer negotiating game. Bradley is in the last year of his contract so this is Heerenveen’s only chance to cash in. The only way they can keep him in summer 2009 is to offer him a pay package he can’t resist. The problem there is that the Dutch club won’t be able to match the kinds of offers Bradley is sure to receive from teams with deeper pockets.

So, it seems that this may be Heerenveen’s last effort to squeeze a bit more money out of the deal before they agree to terms. We presume that would be with AS Monaco but its never to late to count out the other suitors such as Bayer Leverkusen and Middelsbrough (or even another team).