It's January and that means that the transfer window is open across the world. What would January be without speculation and transfer rumors? It's one of the most exciting times in the year, especially for us as MLS fans. Even teams who don't have a history of "splurging" in the off season can surprise us, like Toronto has this year. Allocation, Super Draft, the transfer window, all of this adds up to amazing things happening (see this story about the Union angling for Maurice Edu for evidence of that). So with all of that said, here's a list of 10 available (if unlikely) players who, if the Union ownership has some kind of radical epiphany, could get the fans and the soccer world talking about Philly.
1.) Marcelo Saragosa - Defensive Midfield - It's late in the Brazilian's career but he still could have enough left in the tank to be a spell for Brian Carroll. Of course, if the reports of the Union angling for Maurice Edu are to be believed, he may not be a fit here after all. He's no big splash but he's a serviceable backup in the holding midfield role.
Chances: If the Union get Edu, this is unlikely. If not, it's very possible.
2.) Ashley Cole - Right Back - With Sheanon Williams at right back, it might be a stretch but the Union just moved Jeff Parke which leaves a Center Back spot open. Sheanon has been used in that role sparingly and it's not his ideal spot but for the right move, could he shift over to accommodate Cole? Cole doesn't have a deal done at Chelsea and at this stage in his career, his playing time has been limited. Chelsea is also looking at Luke Shaw from Southampton as a replacement for the veteran at right back.
Chances: Unlikely but not impossible.
3.) Bryan Ruiz - Attacking Midfield - Fulham has given Ruiz leave to seek a transfer. Real Betis is offering $800,000 for a loan spell. The Union could make an offer of similar proportions for a loan and bring the Costa Rican midfielder to Philly. A loan might be the best forward looking plan for Philly for 2014. - Ruiz was sent on loan to PSV today.
Chances: Not going to happen.
4.) Ravel Morrison - Attacking Midfielder - West Ham wants to deal him and he could move west despite his young age. Typically, the MLS has been a place where Euro players come late in their careers but with players of a higher caliber continuing to look to MLS as a possibility and the league grows in stature, players are coming here younger and younger. Morrison is going to cost some coin to get but he gives a dynamic attack style that would be a change from the kick and run out of the back that Philly has been playing. With that said, this doesn't really fit the Hackworth style, too flashy.
Chances: Pipe dream but stranger things have happened.
5.) Iago Aspas - Attacking Midfield - Liverpool is keen to loan Aspas out. He was a big signing for them that has not gotten on the field. The Liverpool American owners may be open to sending him to MLS and he is exactly the kind of player that Philly needs. He's a creative midfield player with good on the ball skill and a knack for finishing. His loan price is rumored to be low and that might be just want Philly needs to hear. The Parke trade makes many of these deals more possible than they were two days ago. If the Philly ownership is actually looking for big time players, this guy could be ringing the Liberty Bell.
Chances: Very possible for a season long loan spell.