Report: Michael Bradley Option Picked Up By Villa

Bradley, ready to get some consecutive run in 2011....

A report by German’s RP Online states that  US midfielder Michael Bradley’s option has been picked up by Aston Villa, ending his tenure at Borussia Monchengladbach.

With a vote of confidence from Villa’s 2nd in command Gary McAllister at the end of the campaign and the departure of Nigel Reo-Coker even more so, Bradley’s likely destination appeared to be Villa for some time now.

Bradley will face stiff competition for a perennial starting spot though from Jean Makoun, Fabian Delph and Villa captain Sylvan Petrov in the center of the pitch. Expect more time though for Bradley next term.

A huge thanks to Olaf Nordwich on alerting us to the news.


Other American news:

• Mark Hughes out at Fulham on his own accord with a likely destination…Aston Villa.

• Marcus Hahnemann released by Wolverhampton, likely on his way to….Vancouver in the MLS? Or did the Whitecaps get burned on the elder goalie statesmen in Joe Cannon?

24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/02 at 11:43 AM

    Cannot see this transfer happening while Villa are managerless. If the new manager rates Bradley, then sure – but why run the risk of potentially signing a player who the new boss may not like? Makes zero sense to me.


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/02 at 11:49 AM

      All along the whole Bradley to Villa move seemed like it came from higher up than the manager. It certainly didn’t seem like Houllier rated him so it wouldn’t really matter about the new manager. Maybe they are going to hire Bob Bradley and put all US fans out of their misery.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/02 at 12:08 PM

      I don’t know GeorgeCross. First, Villa had until June 1st to decide on it. Who knows how the deal was structured, but perhaps the break-up fee was the same or prohibited.

      Also, Nigel Reo Coker is out — Bradley is a talented enough squad player (and likely more) to take on the risk that the new coach doesn’t play if only to have leverage if another CM purchase was required by the new coach.

      Villa essentially has Fabian Delph (21 I think) who may or may not be ready, Jean Makoun (a Houllier guy who has quality) and Sylvan Petrov (fading and with one year left on his contract).

      From a front office perspective, the Bradley purchase makes sense.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/02 at 12:26 PM

        1st June because that’s when the transfer window opens, right?

        Not sure how this makes sense from a ‘front office’ perspective though. You sign Bradley for $X for Yyears on $Z per week. If the new boss doesn’t like him then that’s potentially tied up $X transfer fee and $Z salary, or they can sell him… am I missing something blindingly obvious?


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/02 at 12:37 PM

          I believe his contract runs through 11-12, so you have him for a year if you “don’t like him.” Makes a ton of sense — he knows the system, he’s not situated, he’s got “American marketing” dollars associated with him.

          As I mentioned you just lost Reo-Coker and Petrov is older.

          As for June 1st I believe that was when Villa had to decide on the option buy (my guess or pay some temporary loan fee which has now been assumed into the transfer).

          I’m multitasking so let me know if I’m not explaining this well. :>


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/02 at 12:55 PM

            I thought he would sign a new contract with AV. The current one is with Gladbach and is void once they sell him to AV. That’s part of the reason why players request transfers so they can get a new contract with more money.

            He doesn’t know the system very well or he would have played more than 101 minutes.


            • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/02 at 12:57 PM

              Didn’t know it voided–that’s my bad on that.

            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/02 at 1:26 PM

              Yes, usually when a club buys a player, he signs a contract with them and the prior contract becomes null and void.

              I have seen a few peculiar things, but this is generally the norm.

          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/02 at 1:10 PM

            I thought the loan was for 6 months (up until 1st June) with an option to buy. Perhaps the contract with his parent club expires in 2012, but surely if Villa were to buy him, they would tie him down to a 2 or 3 year contract?

            So now that GH is not the manager, why exercise that option? The American marketing dollars only comes into play if he gets regular starts, no?

            Not saying it won’t happen, but seeing as Sparky just quit Fulham, I am guessing it won’t happen unless he gives the green light.

            BTW, how much money are we talking about?


            • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/06/02 at 4:29 PM

              I can see Hughes really liking Bradley in the Etuhu role. Etuhu played a defensive MF (not quite a destroyer) and sprayed balls all over the park. He also started over Sidwell every time when healthy which in my mind hindered Fulham’s attack when Zamora, AJ, and Dembele were out.

      • Posted by david on 2011/06/03 at 11:10 AM

        it does make since. Villa are about to lose young and probable downing. reo coker is gone and petrov is declining. Bradley is g a good player in either attacking or defensive midfield. Im sure the trasnfer fee was less than the 12million broussa wanted. I hope he gets plenty of playing time to improve his skills.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/03 at 1:13 PM

          Bradley is not a (direct) replacement for either Young or Downing. And offensively, he’s not in the same class.

          If I were a Villa fan, I would not be upset in the slightest if he was acquired to play in a holding role. But I would be outraged if I saw AY / SD leave and then heard Villa tout Bradley as their successor.


  2. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/06/02 at 4:31 PM


    Saw your tweet about Dempsey leaving Fulham and another about imagining him at Chelsea in the Joe Cole role. Can’t find anything anywhere about him leaving. Is this speculation or something I just can’t find? Very curious given how I am now 5 seasons into following Fulham (back when it was McBride and Boca) and have Dempsey as my favorite player and need to know if I have a “which team to root for crisis on my hands.”


  3. Posted by corky on 2011/06/03 at 6:59 AM

    Hey Matthew, you might want to update this and emphasize this is speculation — I don’t think is near final at all. Jeff Bradley tweeted this morning (@JerseyJBradley) “Remember when being “right” was more important than being “first?” #journalism. I am reading into the tweet, but I’d almost bet this has everything to do with his nephew.

    When all the MB to Turkey reports were out, Jeff would tweak those as well with statements like the one above. Plus, Ives also mentioned the deal was nowhere near done (if I had to guess, I bet Jeff is Ives’ source — both Jersey guys).


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/03 at 4:21 PM

      Corky: Wrote “Report” which is accurate. The report states as such…. — at TSG, we’re careful with this new and always label “reports” accurately. We rarely link to poor sources, like other sites do.

      I would imagine that Jeff Bradley is not the source for Ives (I would say I have a good sense for who is) and I would imagine that the Michael Bradley to Sunderland rumors (completely false) were from that same source posturing to drive up interest in Bradley.

      I would say that Ives is likely right here that the deal is not done.

      And as a note, since I’m going out on a limb here, Jeff Bradley is curmudgeon who somehow takes an elitist look at journalism for some unknown reason meanwhile he wrote on a blog invoking nationalistic pride using only his relationaship with his brother as fodder for the story ( — that is not journalism in the least–that is feature or magazine writing (which is fine and his take is quite excellent) but does not qualify one as a judge of journalists.

      Jeff Bradley by the way, no longer at ESPN.


      • Posted by corky on 2011/06/03 at 7:22 PM

        I appreciate the reply. I just hope that people are careful on this one, especially since German reports were dead wrong in January.

        It’s interesting on Ives. He totally got used on the Sunderland rumor by someone in Bradley’s camp. I do think he is well connected (but not as well as Luke Cyphers), which is why I tend to believe him when he says it’s not done.

        As for Jeff Bradley, I also really agree. It would be best for him if he never commented on soccer on his Twitter feed. Back in January, I thought he took some gratuitous shots at Seltzer (and possibly you). It’s transfer speculation — at the end — it’s all a bit of fun, isn’t it?


        • Posted by corky on 2011/06/03 at 7:27 PM

          I also should make it clear that I wasn’t trying to be critical. I think you run one of the best blogs out there for USMNT stuff. Amazing you have a company and do this in your spare time!


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/03 at 7:57 PM

            Didn’t think you were trying to be critical at all.

            I think what set me off–what I know set me off–is Jeff Bradley assuming that he’s the Special One when it comes to journalism.

            George Vescey, Jeff Carlisle, even Ives breaking stories….


  4. Posted by david on 2011/06/03 at 11:12 AM

    Any idea what the transfer fee was???? Borussa wanted around 12 miilion if i remeber correctly.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/06/03 at 11:30 AM

      $5M including the loan fees is what is being thrown around.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/06/03 at 1:20 PM

        What do you mean by “loan fee?” Usually the club getting the player on loan would pay the player’s wages (or at least an agreed % of it).


        • Posted by Jared on 2011/06/03 at 1:30 PM

          Sometimes there is a fee involved similar to a transfer fee that a team pays to take a player on loan (or at least there is in Football Manager).


  5. Posted by Dikranovich on 2011/06/03 at 3:21 PM

    I love this site


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