With the European mid-season transfer window now open, I felt as if this was a good time to breakdown where some of your favorite US players may end up. Enjoy.
George John (FC Dallas- MLS)
The 6-3 MLS center-back has had one foot out the door for some time now. It was only August when the MLS and Blackburn Rovers agreed on a transfer deal for John, however, negotiations over wages crumbled in the final hour, which sent him back to Dallas.
Now, according to SI's Steve Davis, West Ham is close to signing John. West Ham play in England's 2nd tier division, the Championship, but are destined for promotion back to the EPL, currently sitting atop the table.
If John finalizes a deal in England don't expect any work permit troubles, as the defender has US and Greece citizenship. Thus, he can secure a Greek passport and bypass the UK work permit process.
At this point a move is inevitable as the MLS will look to cash in on John's abroad interest with 2012 being the final year of his MLS deal. Also, as per MLS rules, FC Dallas has no ability to stop John from leaving the club this late in his contract. If you are unfamiliar with the MLS, unlike other US sports leagues it operates as a single-entity. So basically the league runs the show not the team and as result if John doesn't end up with the Hammers, it is clear that he will find another suitor in the coming weeks.
Tim Ream (NY Red Bulls- MLS)
George John is not the only prominent MLS defender who looks to be on his way to England. After training with two EPL clubs- West Bromwich and Bolton Wanderers- last month, interest for Ream's services has been a hot topic. Both clubs supposedly have offered the MLS a multi-million dollar deal to secure the 24-year-old center back. Both managers have also praised Ream's form, despite only training for a week each at the two Premier League clubs.
The latest reports have Bolton in the lead to acquire Ream, especially with the likely departure of the Wanderers' #1 central defender, Gary Cahil. However with NY and their GM Eric Soler repeatedly saying that there is 0% chance that Ream leaves on loan or transfer, Bolton will need to reach for a lot of cash to make the move happen. I'd say right now it's about 50/50 whether or not Ream stays in the MLS or ventures to the EPL. I'm excited to see how this one plays out.
Maurice Edu (Rangers FC- SPL)
French club Sochaux, which should be a familiar name as this is the same team that owns Charlie Davies' contract, has made Maurice Edu their top transfer target.
“We are interested in bringing Maurice Edu to Sochaux,” Sochaux's assistant coach Stephane Gilli told STV.
“We have two or three other midfield targets but it’s fair to say that Edu is our number one target for the midfield position," added the Sochaux coach.
Reports have indicated that Rangers has already rejected a 500,000 Euro bid for the American, but still remain interested in bringing him into the squad. Edu, who has been with Rangers since 2008, is under contract with the Scottish club until 2013.
I know this wouldn't be an ideal move for Edu, who would be leaving a possible Champions League side, but in my opinion Edu needs to start packing his bags. The kid needs a change of scenery plain and simple. He should definitely explore all his possible options but a move to France's Ligue 1, a league with much better players and clubs compared to the Scottish League, wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. I am worried about Sochaux's current 19th place position in the table though, as they are in danger of relegation.
Charlie Davies (FC Sochaux- Ligue 1)
Benny Feilhaber's former team, Danish Superliga club AGF Aarhus, is interested in Charlie Davies. Davies is currently back training with Sochaux after DC United passed on exercising an option to extend his stay stateside. It appears that Sochaux has little interest in keeping Davies on their first team roster, so a loan move to a club like Aarhus is a definite possibility.
The same report is indicating that San Jose Earthquake striker Chris Wondolowski is also on the Danish club's radar.
It's sad to say but a loan to a Danish club like Aarhus isn't a bad move for Davies at this point. It is clear that he needs consistent minutes if he is ever to return to optimal form and the Danish Superliga wouldn't be the worst spot to make this happen. The fact of the matter is Davies is at a make or break point in his career and will have to perform wherever Sochaux puts him. I feel like he's Freddy Adu all of the sudden, which is disheartening to say the least.
Get more great soccer news and analysis over at US Futblog.