That silliest of seasons is upon us. Rumors are flying about potential signings both incoming and outgoing for the Philadelphia Union. Here are the rumors and what we make of them.
Łukasz Gikiewicz: An article in Onetsport.pl (an affiliate of Eurosport) suggests that the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City are both after the 27-year-old Polish striker. Gikiewicz is without a contract after clashing with Levski Sofia manager Stojczo Stojewem.
The 6'2" striker is looking to join his thirteenth club in ten years, which should set off all sorts of alarm bells for Union fans (see: Rais M'Bolhi, Freddy Adu). My opinion is that the Union would do well to avoid players with long track records of short stints - especially at a position that's not one of need.
Gonzalo Castellani: A tweet by Argentine sportswriter Franco Introna got the attention of a lot of folks in this area when he said the Boca Juniors midfielder was being pursued by the Union.
En Boca llegó una oferta de préstamo del Philadelphia Union para llevarse a Castellani por 6 meses. Desde Boca le bajaron el pulgar.— Franco Introna (@ttheourkid) July 2, 2015
This has all but been put to rest however since Boca said they don't want to loan Castellani out and are looking to sell him. Even Introna seems to think Castellani will wind up at either Milton Cascio or Newell's Old Boys. Either way, this is another case of a transfer rumor about a player that doesn't play a position of need for the Union. We all know that's not to say it won't happen - the Union do have a track record of picking up players in positions they're deep at while ignoring weaknesses. But this is another rumor that just doesn't strike me as plausible.
Rais M'Bolhi: Antalyaspor in Turkey was lined up to take him off of the Union's hands, however negotiations broke down over a transfer fee and seem to be all but dead. Algerian website Le Buteur is reporting now that Turkish club Bursaspor now wants M'Bolhi, but Le Buteur is notoriously inaccurate when it comes to transfer rumors. Still, this is something worth monitoring.
Carlos Valdes: Yes, that Carlos Valdes. Apparently there was some interest in him by Alexis Mendoza, manager of Colombian side Club Deportivo Junior. According to the report from Colombia's WinSports however, MLS was unwilling to give Junior the option to acquire Valdes. Junior wound up going with Paraguayan Nery Bareiro, while Valdes stays in Uruguay with Nacional for the 2015 season..
While some of our readers may bristle at the mention of Valdes returning, I would urge them to think about it for a minute. Valdes is the best center back to wear a Union kit, and is at the peak of his career. Perhaps more importantly he fills a position of need for the Union, who are relying on a converted central defensive midfielder (Maurice Edu) and a guy playing his first MLS season (Richie Marquez). Steven Vitoria has been injured too often and Ethan White has been ineffectual when given the opportunity to play.