Slaloming Through The Silly Season: Dempsey, Lichaj, Ruiz & More…

Update Wednesday:

• Multiple reports have Arsenal bidding $10M for Mikel Arteta of Everton. Solid move for them and Toffees where he was never quite the right fit.

Some updates here across the board:

Will the Deuce be drinking to the good life elsewhere in a few days...

• Sky Sports reporting that Fulham are going to secure the services of CONCACAF superb star Bryan Ruiz out of FC Twente for $10.6M. That would be the largest transfer for Fulham in at least 3 years (Andy Johnson) and perhaps one of the top two or three all-time at The Cottage.

• Your guess as good as ours on Clint Dempsey. I have no problem eating crow if the lone, single, only, exclusive, whatever-it-is report on Dempsey to Arsenal comes true and it was filed by the broken clock that is Will gladly do it publicly.

That said a Dempsey buy would be out of character for the London side.

• MLS Soccer’s Greg Seltzer nailed a few reports. Eric Lichaj would have been Leeds bound if not for a hip problem that may keep him out of action for up to four months. Maurice Edu had a couple of relocation packages turned down and remains at Rangers.


Ah the transfer day deadline looming yet again.

Goetze (sort of looks like Messi's point-to-the-sky there, no?)

A fast-paced day of footie rumors where 1% of all dreams come true.

You add the rumors and deals below. We’ll put them up here with a note.

» Joe Cole rumored (multiple reports) to QPR

The skinny: Yes that sounds just about right these days.

» Per Mertsacker to Arsenal (multiple reports)

The skinny: Don’t think this gets done. Or does it? A needed move by the Emirates; but what’s the fee?

» Dortmund turn down Arsenal bid for young sensation Mario Götze

The skinny: $25M doesn’t get it done. Tells you just how valuable in this market climate that kid is.

More coming….

75 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by EFG on 2011/08/30 at 6:21 AM

    I’m seeing Joe Cole to Lille which is probably a better move for him.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 6:39 AM

      I can’t see him going there. Will wager you on to QPR…it’s too perfect. No way he leaves England…


      • Posted by EFG on 2011/08/30 at 6:42 AM

        If I could go to Lille and play in the Champions League instead of tread water at QPR, I would. But that’s just me…

        Side note: I’ll take that wager.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 9:18 AM

          It’s looking likely I saw. A stranger fit has not been seen. Joe Cole’s junkballing days are over in my opinion.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:07 AM

          Apparently, with this loan deal, Liverpool get first dibs on Hazard when Lille choose to sell…


          • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/31 at 4:10 AM

            In exchange for Joe Cole? I know that all that means essentially is that Liverpool have the right to match the offer of Real Madrid, Barca or City but it seems strange that Lille would have to give up anything to do Liverpool the favor of taking Cole off their hands. Must mean that they aren’t picking up his full wages.


            • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:26 AM

              Not sure of the full details of this deal, heard it on BBC 5Live. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lille didn’t insert a transfer fee clause in Hazard’s contract… So, if Liverpool are willing to meeting this, then they get first refusal?

      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/30 at 9:26 AM

        Joe Cole is someone whose game would have benefitted immensely from leaving the EPL.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/08/30 at 9:27 AM

          Too late now, though. The tricks and flair have been beaten out of him.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/30 at 10:49 AM

          It is true. Cole is not Hoddle, but that type of player… and we all know what Platini used to say about Hoddle, don’t we?


  2. Posted by EFG on 2011/08/30 at 6:25 AM

    Reading about Arsenal’s stinginess (1m separated them from Juventus in getting Hamburg’s Elia) is just infuriating.


  3. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/30 at 7:11 AM

    Sky’s Clockwatch says Mertsacker is having a medical and discussing personal terms. Same age as Cahill, has year on his current contract, but vastly more experienced at international level, but 4M (50%) cheaper… would like to have seen Cahill at Arsenal, but you cannot blame them, can you?


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/30 at 7:17 AM

      No, can’t really blame them but Mertesacker is slooooow. He could struggle with the pace in the premier league. On the plus side he seems to regularly stay fit as he’s played at least 30 games total (Germany and club) since 04/05. Pretty good piece of business for them though.


  4. Posted by Jared on 2011/08/30 at 7:12 AM

    Per Grant Wahl, MB90 has signed for Chievo Verona.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 9:06 AM

      Actually it was per his agent Ron Waxman then Steve Goff (fair play). :>

      No terms announced.


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/30 at 7:13 AM

    Any news on Michael Bradley? I thought him being left out of the US team might act as smelling salts?


  6. Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/08/30 at 7:18 AM

    Apparently Blackburn was unable to agree to terms with George John.


    • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/30 at 8:25 AM

      Agree to terms? What terms/ demands could John make, hell MLS was paying him something like $50k, anything they give him would’ve been gravy. I think they cancelled because they wanted to sign Scott Dann, and their front office is like a headless chicken! Though I wanted him to be there, now Arsenal should take a flyer on him. He can’t be any worse than the traffic cones they had out there this past week..


      • Posted by dth on 2011/08/30 at 8:46 AM

        Wasn’t George John’s fault. Blackburn’s. They also stopped pursuing Vedad Ibisevic, for whatever reason.


        • Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/08/30 at 8:58 AM

          Agreed, it’s hard to admit that I’m a fan right now. I don’t know what they are trying to do. From a distance it looks like they want all their remaining talent to demand transfers. At least the relegation battle will be 10-14 teams again this year.


      • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/30 at 8:53 AM

        Was headless chicken a shot at Venky’s or just coincidence?

        Either way it doesn’t seem to be far off. Blackburn is being run very poorly and the ownership has not lived up to what they promised before taking over. I think they were expecting Samba to leave but that doesn’t seem to be happening.


        • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/30 at 10:28 AM

          It was just a coincidence when i typed it before submission then I got the Venky’s pun.but I’ll take credit for a rapacious wit, although schizophrenics frequently make enlightening puns and rhymes.
          Blackburn is a sinking ship, they wanted to sign Ronaldhino? Ha. They have enough talent to stay up but lack a convictive spirit to guide and lead the. Ironically Big Sam would keep them up, ugly but at the end of the year who cares.


          • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/30 at 10:52 AM

            It would be amusing for Blackburn to get relegated and West Ham to get promoted. Chicken karmas all around…


            • Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/09/01 at 7:13 AM

              Rovers picked up Scott Dann and Yakubu. Both quality players in my eyes and it looks like they got a deal for Dann, but I’m sure sure signing George John would have been a much less expensive option as was already mentioned.

              Then maybe they could have signed Raul, Kaka, and be in the Champions League. You can’t make quotes like that and then leave your roster in limbo for the first 3 games of the season. They deserve to be bottom of the table right now due to their uninspired play and lack of cohesiveness in the first two games. The last game was a joke, but at least fun to watch for all Tim Howard fans.

            • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/09/01 at 10:34 AM

              Wonder what’s going on at Blackburn — they talk a big game but don’t act on it.

              Scott Dann is “okay” in my book. Yakubu just doesn’t have the desire (having watched him at Everton).

  7. The twitters are abuzz with Clint Dempsey to Arsenal rumors. Seems to me that doesn’t really fit Deuce’s stated desire to join a better club — Arsenal might be “bigger,” but at this point Fulham looks like they’ll finish higher up the table.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 11:09 AM

      I need to have more than just report it. Seems fishy that the rags in England aren’t picking up and running with this one yet.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/30 at 11:15 AM

        I saw this on Twitter too, but not one UK source is quoting this. Maybe he will get CL football after all.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/30 at 11:26 AM

        Hey Matt, give us your scale on rumors again, ex= one source=suspect, webblog=rumour. I’d like to use when I teach a class on research. The Great Communicator used to say ” Trust but Verify”


    • Posted by Alex Song on 2011/08/30 at 10:58 PM

      There is not a snowball’s chance in hell of Fulham finishing higher than Arsenal.


  8. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 12:24 PM

    I have not seen one Fulham message board/blog, one Arsenal message board/blog or any England rags pick up the Dempsey story.

    I think it’s bunk.


  9. Posted by EFG on 2011/08/30 at 12:28 PM

    Official: Diego Forlan to Inter. Interesting. Very interesting.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:40 PM

      I still scratch my head regarding his time at Man United. It really defies logic.


  10. Posted by hercules3076 on 2011/08/30 at 1:06 PM

    Well if we needed more confirmation that Dempsey is going…somewhere. Fulham just bought Brian Ruiz for 10.6. (According to Sky Sports ala Twitter)


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 1:12 PM

      That’s a massive purchase for that club. Of course, Jol knows him, but still.


      • Posted by hercules3076 on 2011/08/30 at 2:03 PM

        You’d have to think that this means that more than 10.6 are going out somehow, and that is only likely to be covered by the exit of one specific person from Fulham. Hate to see Dempsey leave, but curious to see where he ends up.


        • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/08/30 at 3:02 PM

          It is time to start doing some soul searching as to whether I continue to support Fulham or not. There is no way that they spend 10.6 on someone without someone going out the door. The only players that can draw sizable fees are Dempsey and Hangeland (maybe Zamora but he seems to be made of glass).


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 3:09 PM

            Agree Bernie.

            Hangeland seems much more likely though, no?


            • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/08/30 at 3:45 PM

              Given the desire to play Sendros with Hangeland and move Huges to RB (where he doesn’t belong) you maybe right. That said, I haven’t heard ant Brede rumors (I would have assumed an Arsenal rumor would be all but guaranteed). Could it be as simple as sell Dempsey for 8 and bring in Ruiz for 11.

              Isn’t Dempsey worth a lot more than the 8 Sky was reporting yesterday if Ruiz is worth 10.6?

        • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/30 at 3:48 PM

          Is it possible that Jol convinced Al Fayed to open his deep pockets? He has the cash just hasn’t spent before.


          • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/08/30 at 4:21 PM

            It is possible but that doesn’t seem all that logical to me. With Fulham flirting with relegation a number of times in the past and the cash never being splashed why splash it now on a very outside chance at a Europa League spot (remember they got in this year under the Fair Play rules).


            • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/30 at 5:55 PM

              Maybe they are trying to unload Brede H. since they are signing Grygera who plays CB but we haven’t heard a peep about it. Berry Interesting. Tomorrow will definitely be a good day for rumours til witching hour.

  11. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/08/30 at 4:00 PM

    I’ve said a few times that the Ruiz purchase doesn’t mean a Dempsey sale.

    A few reasons. Fulham don’t want to flirt with the relegation zone. $10.6M is but a small price to pay for insurance against a) a drop into the bottom 3 and b) at not being robbed in January if Dempsey or one of their other attackers (don’t know any :>) gets hurt.

    Smart and affordable buy now. Plus at 26 if things are looking chummy for Fulham they could move either player in the January window.

    It’s a solid move.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:21 AM

      I agree. Like Dempsey, Ruiz gets his fair share of goals from midfield. I don’t see him as a replacement but as an addition. I knew Dempsey scored a lot of Fulham’s goals, but wasn’t quite aware how much Fulham rely on him. Surely, Jol sees this [operational risk] and wants to spread the goal scoring burden?

      Unless Dempsey has handed in a transfer request, signing [EPL un-proven] Ruiz for £10.6m and selling [EPL proven] Dempsey for £8m, doesn’t make any footballing sense to me.


  12. Posted by crow on 2011/08/30 at 6:17 PM

    There’s been alot of talk about “rags” and “broken clocks”. When you think about, what options do we really have for some nice trashy rumour mill reading? Other than, not really anything.

    So, I think I’m going to set up a soccer blog of my own- anything goes. After you are done with your quality reading on TSG you can come and have some fun. There will be some catches- however. I’m not concerned about the “cool factor” of the blog, so there will be advertising. Want to read the Josh Gatt to Manchester United article… well you’ll have to get past the expanding Pampers Diapers ad with sound first. Want to read a candid interview with Brian Ching and Bobby Convey discussing the Bob Bradley era. You can read it for yourself as long as you participate in the non-moderated comment section. Heck, bots will even be allowed. We should all know good websites to buy cheap sneakers.

    I already have an idea for a monthy column- hairstyle advice from current/former USMNT players- first 3 months- Clint Mathis, Brek Shea, Stuart Holden.

    I know it will only be a few months till I’m getting 500k hits/month.


    • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/30 at 8:26 PM

      The truly sad part is that you will get those 500k hits and some will cite you as a credible source. But Hey your site will be huge, you will be an online wonder spokespersonality! Its like the Producers’ “Springtime for Hitler”. I’ll contribute and get free duckets to all FIFA VIP events and be courted by Sepp Blatter as a person of influence. A true thousand points of light..


      • Posted by Travis McKil on 2011/08/30 at 9:55 PM

        Springtime for Jurgen; get someone on that post haste.

        We need to start casting the hottest blondes we can find that can’t speak English fluently.

        Also we need a neurotic Gene Wilder type; the best I have on sort notice is Carlos Puyol. I admit it’s more of a hair thing than a personality match. Puyol would have been as good as Johnny Depp in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory though, any 20-40 something must admit.


        • Posted by crow on 2011/08/31 at 5:55 AM

          Both these comments are great but I literally Lol when I read eccentric “Gene Wilder type” and Carlos Puyol. I must create this blog!


  13. Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/30 at 8:20 PM

    I know Matt has pointed out the accuracy (or lack thereof) at however I wanted to point out that has a lot of disclaimers in the actual article. The title is “Arsenal is a serious contender…” and the first sentence is “Arsenal has a realistic chance of signing Fulham midfielder Clint Dempsey..” The very next sentence reads “…. Arsenal will acquire Dempsey within the next 48 hours as long as Fulham does not set the price too high.”

    OK maybe not NYT reporting quality but at least its clear that its far from a done deal.

    On the other hand here is what ESPN Insider reported… “Citing a source close to the player, alleges that Arsenal will acquire U.S. star Clint Dempsey before Wednesday’s transfer deadline for a fee just north of $16 million.”

    Now right or wrong I hold ESPN (and their pay service nonetheless) to a higher standard than The ESPN tidbit is particularly atrocious reporting.


    • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/08/30 at 8:23 PM

      Anyone know what the record transfer fee is for a USMNT player? I know Jozy was 10 or 11. Not sure about some of the older transfers though.


    • Posted by crow on 2011/08/31 at 6:04 AM

      There are your ESPN Insider dollars at work. Echoing reports. Atrocious indeed.


  14. Posted by Gino on 2011/08/31 at 12:07 AM

    Here’s a name we won’t be seeing in the next 24 hour’s transfer headlines: Oguchi Onyewu. I just saw on Avi Creditor’s Inside Soccer that Gooch hasn’t played in either of Sporting Lisbon’s past two games. I really feel for the big guy. Two years ago he was the rock in the USMNT’s defense and became the first American to sign with one of the most prestigious clubs in the world in AC Milan. His subsequent knee injury precipitated a free fall that he may never recover from. I’d really love to see him bounce back but the severity of his injury combined with his advancing age (30 next May) probably means his best days are behind him. If I could have one feel good story this year, it would be Gooch’s redemption.


  15. Posted by crow on 2011/08/31 at 6:17 AM

    How did Arsenal think 25 would be enough for Goetze? And how is Ruiz worth more than Deuce? He’s not that much younger.


  16. Posted by Antonio H. on 2011/08/31 at 9:36 AM

    Oguchi is mls bound you heard it here first


    • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/31 at 9:43 AM

      I do hope Onyewu recovers. Presently he is as nimble as Kristie Alley on Dancing with the Stars.


  17. Posted by Paula on 2011/08/31 at 11:31 AM

    Yikes. Apparently Arsenal have given up on Arteta and are concentrating on Benayoun. From The Guardian live blog.


  18. Posted by John on 2011/08/31 at 12:04 PM


    It’s Deadline Day!


  19. Posted by John on 2011/08/31 at 12:39 PM

    From the BBC…

    Liverpool have completed the signing of United States Under-18 striker Villyan Bijev from California Odyssey after the youngster impressed on trial at the academy during the summer. Bijev does not yet have a work permit so has gone on loan to German side Fortuna Dusseldorf with immediate effect.



    • Posted by crow on 2011/08/31 at 1:12 PM

      The following is a straight cut and copy from the article: reported in July that the lanky impressed Liverpool during a summer trial with the club.

      Oh my


    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/31 at 7:27 PM

      Yeah, sure, yay! Why not yay?

      He’ll definitely have a work permit next year–he’s got a Bulgarian passport and they don’t have full EU privileges until next year–and then he’ll be at Liverpool, whose academy is run by Barcelona people. In the meantime, he gets to train in Germany, a strong second-best country in the world at developing players these days.


      • Posted by Gregorio on 2011/08/31 at 7:59 PM

        On a side note, his dad Chris (Hristo) is an Immigration Lawyer out in California, He will have no problems on that end.


  20. Posted by John on 2011/08/31 at 12:50 PM

    TRANSFER DAY RUMOR: is reporting that myself, Tim Cahill, Tywin Lannester, and Cybil Sheppard are boarding a helicopter in Newcastle to have physicals and a small sandwich in Colorado.

    More Soon.


    • Posted by John on 2011/08/31 at 1:28 PM


      The sandwich was an Apple-Habenero Pulled Pork Sandwich with Sour Slaw. is reporting that it was horrible.

      (It was delicious)


    • Posted by Jared on 2011/08/31 at 1:32 PM

      I would not want to be the guy who had to tell Tywin Lannister that he failed his medical.


      • Posted by John on 2011/08/31 at 1:41 PM

        The Daily Mail is reporting that Hodor is involved with Tywin Lannister in an attempt to bring Mikkel Arteta to Arsenal along with David Tennant, and that these attempts cause cancer.



  21. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:48 PM

    Gary Cahill is in the last year of his contract, and from 1st June, he is a free agent and can leave on a Bosman [unless he signs a new contract]. What’s the bet that he ends up with Arsenal next year [or a CL team]?


  22. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/08/31 at 4:52 PM

    Liverpool got Coates for 8M, United bought Jones for 16M…

    Surprised Scott Dann didn’t move to a ‘better’ club than Blackburn Rovers.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/08/31 at 7:25 PM

      This seems about right. Jones has had Premier League experience and is British. Even if Coates turns out to be a really good player, he might find the sudden jump disorienting and difficult to deal with (e.g. Diego Forlan–does anyone think he wouldn’t do the business now in the EPL?)

      In general, I think Liverpool’s transfer business this entire year, dating back to Jan. 2011, has been really impressive and good overall. Considering their handicaps–no Champions League, no megabucks–they’ve been very clever at acquiring assets and shedding deadweight.

      Oh, and now two Americans are on their books (as players).


  23. Posted by crow on 2011/08/31 at 5:32 PM

    This comment is in response to that wonderful bleachers report article TSG tweeted about how the USMNT can be more like Barcelona. That was probably the best piece of literature that has been written in human history. The man who wrote it has a greater soccer mind than Cruyff, Pele, Ferguson, Mourinho, and Loew combined. PLEASE post his MB90 article so people who missed the tweet can read it. The world needs comic relief.


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