Rating 10 potential MLS transfer targets in January
Several high-profile players are linked with a move to MLS this winter. Click through to see whether they are likely to take the plunge or not. -- FOXSoccer.com's Kyle McCarthy.
Ashley Cole (D, Roma)
Cole reached an agreement to cancel his Roma contract six months early on Tuesday. The settlement appears to have paved the way for his move to LA Galaxy this week. // Verdict: The former England defender is headed for MLS, barring a last minute breakdown.
Getty ImagesRobertus Pudyanto
Nigel de Jong (M, AC Milan)
LA Galaxy is the reported suitor for Netherlands midfielder de Jong. There is a complication, though: de Jong is under a lucrative, long-term deal at the San Siro. // Verdict: If de Jong can sort out the financial considerations with Milan, then the combative midfielder might squeeze within the Galaxy’s limited budget.
VI-Images via Getty ImagesVI-Images
Nemanja Vidic (D, unattached)
The oft-linked defender settled his contract with Inter Milan on Monday to end an injury-hit spell with the Serie A side. The former Manchester United defender is a long-standing target for MLS with Chicago heavily linked for a move this winter. // Verdict: With all of the encumbrances out of the way, Vidic might finally seal a deal with a MLS side.
Inter via Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani - Inter
Tim Howard (GK, Everton)
Howard received considerable scrutiny from Everton supporters after a series of patchy performances this season, but he silenced some of those doubters with a recent man-of-the-match display against Manchester City. Everton manager Roberto Martinez fueled the speculation by commenting he couldn’t guarantee Howard would remain with the club through the summer. // Verdict: Howard isn’t going anywhere until Everton acquire more cover in goal, even if Colorado Rapids (now without Clint Irwin) are interested in making a deal.
Getty ImagesDave Thompson
Alejandro Bedoya (M, Nantes)
Bedoya nearly completed a move to Philadelphia Union during the summer. ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman linked Bedoya with a move to Colorado Rapids during coverage of the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. // Verdict: Bedoya is a long-term target for the league, but a move this winter isn’t likely. "We tried to make it happen, but Nantes is not selling," Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told Goal.com on Thursday.
AFP/Getty ImagesJEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD
Alan Pulido (F, Olympiakos)
Mexico forward Pulido continues to find himself in the middle of transfer drama. The 24-year-old finally extracted himself from Tigres UANL and landed at Greek giants Olympiakos, but he never established himself as a regular first-team player. His recent inclusion in a Greek Cup tie and a brief cameo off the bench in a league match further muddies the waters. // Verdict: Colorado is interested in a one-year loan deal, but Pulido’s situation -- including potential CAS and FIFA complications -- makes it difficult to predict whether he will ever take the field for the Rapids.
Getty ImagesDean Mouhtaropoulos
Carlos Vela (F, Real Sociedad)
Several MLS sides expressed at least a passing interest in the prolific Mexico forward. The major sticking points here: Real Sociedad’s desire for an eight-figure transfer fee and Vela’s considerable contractual demands. // Verdict: Vela might keep MLS in mind for a lucrative payday, but he isn’t likely to join the league with those sorts of numbers in play.
Getty ImagesJuan Manuel Serrano Arce
Marco Borriello (F, Carpi)
The former Milan and Juventus forward crops up from time to time in the MLS rumor mill. The latest links place him on the radar of Montréal Impact and Toronto FC heading into the new campaign. // Verdict: Borriello is now in the right price range, but the situations in Toronto and Montréal might need further clarification before either of those teams actually chases his signature.
Getty ImagesGiuseppe Bellini
Christian Bolaños (M, Deportivo Saprissa)
The creative Costa Rican midfielder interested several MLS teams over the past few years, but Vancouver Whitecaps actually took tangible steps to secure his signature this offseason. // Verdict: Expect the Whitecaps to sort out the necessary paperwork to sign the former FC Copenhagen stalwart shortly. (UPDATE: Bolaños signed for Vancouver on Jan. 20).
AFP/Getty ImagesDAMIEN MEYER
Ronald Matarrita (D, Alajuelense)
New York City FC spent much of the winter chasing the promising left back, but the Costa Rican side held firm on its transfer demands. Several reports over the past couple of days suggest the two sides finally reached an accord. // Verdict: Matarrita is on his way to NYCFC sooner rather than later to bolster that tattered back four. (UPDATE: Matarrita signed for NYCFC on Jan. 20).