As much as Abbie and I can handle it, we endeavor to provide our loyal readers with as much Rapids-related or even Rapids-adjacent transfer news during the MLS Summer Transfer Window. This is because a) we are loyal and true servants to those that wear the burgundy and blue, and b) we know the only soccer on this afternoon is a Gold Cup matchup between Costa Rica and French Guiana, which, no, and c) it distracts me from fretting about my Cherry tree, which is currently being abused by Japanese Beetles.
Hey gardening twitter. These bugs have invaded my neighborhood and they're destroying the leaves of my cherry tree. Help! pic.twitter.com/cnYLvMfu1t— Rapids Rabbi (@rapidsrabbi) July 14, 2017
Hey Japan. Come get ya beetles off my tree. Or send me a $15 check for the jug of Malathion I just bought.
So here’s some transfer news.
She already have Zlatan
Well, not quite. But according to the LA Times, and despite the promises made by bwave commenter Catnip4All, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nearing a deal to go to the Los Angeles Galaxy. Reports have LA offering the eminently quotable striker from Sweden $7.7 million a year.
This, or another massive signing, are necessary to hang onto a portion of the LA market while LAFC begin ramping things up to start in the 2018 season. LAFC will have a centrally located stadium, near public transportation, and all the buzz of being part of MLS 3.0, while the Galaxy are nearly unreachable except by rocket ship because of their location an hour south of LA on the wretched 405 freeway.
Zlatan is out with a torn ACL, and will almost certainly be on the shelf until January 2018, so a transfer to LA has no impact on their 2017 hopes to compete for a playoff spot in a fairly weak Western Conference. But his signing could push Colorado further down the table in 2018, while guaranteeing KSE will rake in the cash when LA comes to town.
Lacazette! And I’m never gonna stop until I make ‘em drop
Arsenal signed Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette for a $61 million transfer fee. It’s just really an FYI, but that money does come out of the coffers of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, so that’s notable.
Also, all transfer moves have an element of the ‘butterfly effect’. Lacazette’s signing potentially creates an extraneous striker for manager Arsene Wenger. The team currently has Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Alex Iwobi, Chupa Akpom, Lucas Perez, Danny Welbeck, and Joel Campbell all on the roster there. Somethings got to give. I doubt any of those players comes to Colorado (except maybe Campbell?), but if Sanchez goes to Bayern, and Bayern sells a player to Marseilles, and Marseilles move someone to Feyenoord, then who knows.
The Recently Expired
Zlatan’s contract expired without renewal, which got me wondering about the list of players currently listed as free agents. A couple might be of interest to Sporting Director Padraig Smith.
FC Utrecht attacking mid Nacer Barazite was not re-signed; he started 75 matches and scored 16 goals for them over the past 3 years, and he’s only 27 years old, so there’s certainly still tread on that tire. Premier League fans might remember him as an Arsenal prospect a decade ago.
Former Sunderland midfielder Sebastian Larsson was not renewed by the Black Cats, who are dropping into the Championship after being relegated this year. His agent says he has offers in Turkey and China and other leagues - I’d bet MLS is one of those ‘other leagues’. Sunderland also let go of former team captain John O’Shea. Larsson is 32 years old, while O’Shea, a fellow countryman of Rapids striker Kevin Doyle, is 36 years old.
Crystal Palace and Welsh international mid Joe Ledley is on the market. English sides Aston Villa, West Brom, and Derby County are rumored (ok, ‘rumoured’) to be duking it out for the 30 year-old, but perhaps a move to ‘the colonies’ would do him some good.
Lastly, Dutch attacker Wesley Sneijder is also free after a season in the Turkish Süper Lig. He’s been strongly linked with LAFC, but a signing with them might necessitate a loan spell through 2017. Colorado’s nice in the fall, and it’s probably easier to scout for a proper Bel Aire mansion from Denver then it is to do it from Istanbul.
AC Milan has decided to become relevant again, as they signed former Juventus CB Leonardo Bonucci, and are also going after Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Departing from AC Milan is Keisuke Honda, who will join US international Omar Gonzalez at Mexican club Pachuca. Honda had been linked with Seattle Sounders, but I guess that’s not happening.
Tiemoué Bakayoko is moving from AC Monaco to Chelsea. He’s a talented defensive midfielder, and we’ll find out if he’s like $50 million in transfer fee talented or not. Also, if you really weren’t paying attention this week, striker Romelu Lukaku went to Manchester United, and Man U legend Wayne Rooney went to Everton. Here’s my thoughts on that move.
Relieved to wake up to Rooney going to Everton and not MLS.— Rapids Rabbi (@rapidsrabbi) July 9, 2017
Happy weekending, everybody.