Rumor Radar – February 24, 2019

Extra Time, MLS, News, Rumor Radar

Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.

Its official! The MLS primary transfer window has been open for a week now, and that means the time for transfer rumors is upon us. It also means the return of The Rumor Radar, where we will break down the top five transfer rumors of the week, and assess their likelihood! So without further ado, here are the most compelling rumors to come out of this week leading up to Opening Day.

Steven Naismith – Sporting KC

It seems as though every transfer window, Peter Vermes’ side are linked with at least two or three centre forwards to add depth to an already excellent attack. It also seems as though that trend will continue into the current transfer window, as Sporting KC are being linked with 32-year-old attacker Steven Naismith, as per reports in the BBC and the Scottish Sun.

Naismith is currently on loan at Heart of Midlothian in the Scottish Premiership, where he has scored 10 times in just 17 league appearances for the club. This mark is good enough for the third highest tally in the league, and is incredibly efficient for a player his age. However while this form has potentially caught the eye of MLS clubs, including SKC, it has also made current Hearts boss Craig Levian keen on keeping the player once his contract with parent club Norwich City ends this summer.

Naismith’s current form could make him an ideal signing for a Kansas City side lacking in attacking depth, and his experience in the English Premier League would only bolster that notion. Naismith amassed 73 appearances for Everton in four seasons with the club, scoring 18 times as a withdrawn centre forward. This experience, combined with the fact he would leave his home country of Scotland on a free transfer, could be mouthwatering.

Yet while the prospect of playing alongside his fellow countryman Johnny Russell could be intriguing for Naismith, it seems unlikely that he would leave his home country at this time in his career. At 32, he is only a year or so away from retirement, and this is something he would likely want to to in Scotland where he began his career.

Transfer Probability: 2.2 / 5

 

Quentin Westberg – Toronto FC

 

After a 4-0 drubbing by Panamanian side Independiente in the Concacaf Champions League on Tuesday, Toronto FC could well be looking to bolster their defense before the start of the season. According to The Athletic’s Kristian Dyer, this could mean dipping into their transfer budget to sign a new goalkeeper to challenge current shot stopper Alex Bono. This new keeper is rumored to be former United States youth international Quentin Westberg.

Westberg, who currently plays in the second tier of French football for AJ Auxerre, has spent most of his career as a backup goalkeeper, and would likely fulfil that same role in Toronto, at least to start. At 32 years of age, he could well be a reliable second option to Bono, especially considering he has racked up more appearances this season (13) than in any prior season.

Westberg, a dual-national player, would not fill a designated player spot for TFC, a prospect that could make this transfer more likely to happen. His limited appearances in a top flight league, combined with his age, would also likely make him a cheap option for the club to pursue. Westberg, due to his experience at the US youth international level, could also be beneficial to the young US based players in the side hoping to crack the international squad.

Transfer Probability: 3.4 / 5

 

Darlington Nagbe – Columbus Crew

 

In all fairness, this transfer rumor is not exactly new. Rumors have been swirling for weeks now surrounding the future of US international Darlington Nagbe, with reports linking him with a move out of Atlanta. The most prominent reports have linked Nagbe with the Columbus Crew and a reunion with former head coach Caleb Porter. These speculations have only continued to grow since last week, when Dirty South Soccer reported that the attacker had requested to be traded to the Columbus club.

While the same publication is now reporting that Nagbe is “happy in Atlanta,” suggesting that the transfer saga may be approaching a positive end for ATL fans, it is not difficult to imagine how a player of Nagbe’s ability would fit into a Columbus side under a new head coach. Nagbe has shown flashes of his potential over the course of his time in both the MLS and for the US and the international level, netting 20 times in 163 appearances over a five year tenure with the Portland Timbers.

Nagbe, a player skilled on the dribble, would certainly add some creativity to Porter’s side, as he has contributed 21 assists over his career. Add in an average of 1.5 key passes per game, and Nagbe does not have bad numbers for a center mid. Though these number might seem low to some, especially considering Nagbe is 28 and yet to realize his full potential, Columbus fans might hope that a reunion with Porter could bring out some of the spark many have tipped Nagbe to possess.

However, it appears that the player is increasingly likely to stay in Atlanta under new coach Frank De Boer. After a reported rift with the team and management, Nagbe is back in training, which is a fact sure to disappoint some in Ohio.

Transfer Probability: 1.7 / 5

 

Pablo Aranguiz – Back to Chile?

 

While FC Dallas are not currently being linked with any potential reinforcements to their squad, rumors are certainly flying considering the future of young midfielder Pablo Aranguiz and a potential departure from the club he signed for less than a year ago. According to Dallas soccer site Big D Soccer, the club are reportedly looking to send the out of sorts youngster back to his home country of Chile.

Aranguiz, who the club bought last season to help sort out midfield depth issues, has yet to settle in Dallas, and has made only nine appearances since arriving. Given that the 21-year-old has shown flashes of his potential, it seems reasonable that any potential loan move will strictly be for future development, and not a signal of a lack of future with the club.

Reportedly, Aranguiz is being shopped to Universidad de Chile in the Chilean first division. Aranguiz’s ability as a creative midfielder would serve the club perfectly, as they have been in desperate need of such a player since the loss of Yeferson Soteldo to Brazilian club Santos. And while FC Dallas fans might be upset about the potential loss of a player for the upcoming season, manager Luchi Gonzalez seems confident that a move back to Chile may be the perfect way to jumpstart Aranguiz’s development.

Transfer Probability: 3.7 / 5

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Rumor Radar — April 16, 2018

Extra Time, MLS, News, Rumor Radar

Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.

Hey all.

It’s been a wild two weeks in the football world since the last installment of the Rumor Radar. There have been some stunning results in Major League Soccer including abroad in Europe’s Champions League.

In North America, the domestic season is officially in full swing. And, as a result, the rumors have died down for the time being. Neverthless, the transfer window is set to remain open for a few more weeks, and from now until Deadline Day I expect way more rumors to circulate.

That being said, I think I’ve unearthed a few exciting rumors for this week’s Rumor Radar. Let’s kick off!

Iker Casillas — Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire are certainly no strangers to big name, high profile signings over the years, with German legend Bastian Schweinsteiger being the latest signing to arrive during last season.

Now it seems the Chicagoan club may be adding yet another European club legend, according to SB Nation and NESN. Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas is rumored to be making a move to the Windy City.

Casillas is widely considered to be one of the greatest keepers of all time, and he has put together a legendary career with La Liga giants Real Madrid, as well as for the Spanish National Team.

Casillas is the most capped goalkeeper in Los Blancos’ history, appearing more than 850 times for the club over a 20 year career. Now 36, Casillas has spent the last few seasons between the sticks for FC Porto in Portugal, where he has enjoyed similar success.

If the Fire are able to capture the Spaniard, they would be getting a proven talent, as Casillas has spent the majority of his career playing at the highest level, in the UEFA Champions League with and against Europe’s very best.

Casillas was reportedly close to joining Chicago this winter, but opted to see out his contract with Porto. Now the rumors are back, and it is thought that Casillas could be on his way to MLS this summer, if he does not receive an offer from a Champions League side.

This could present a challenge for the Fire, coupled with the fact that they would need to free up an international slot in order to sign the player.

Mario Balotelli — D.C. United

According to Sports Illustrated, the next stop on the Mario Balotelli Rebuilding Tour could be North America and MLS. More specifically, it appears Balo could be on his way to the Nation’s capital to sign with D.C. United.

SI reports that United, who currently sit bottom of the Eastern Conference with two points, are currently in talks with the player’s agent, Mino Raiola.

Balotelli, 27, has spent time at six different clubs across Europe, and currently plays in France’s Ligue 1 with OGC Nice. He was once touted as one of the game’s hottest attacking prospects, and even won the Golden Boy award in 2010.

However, the golden boy has failed to consistently live up to the “hype” in Europe, which is undoubtedly due, in part, to the off-field issues that have plagued the striker over the years.

During his time at Inter Milan, Balotelli was described by former manager Jose Mourinho as “unmanageable” and was said to have a reputation for being a difficult character to deal with.

During his time at Manchester City, he did a number of interesting things, most notably throwing darts at youth players, driving to a women’s prison, and most notably lighting his own house on fire after setting off fireworks indoors.

Balotelli’s issues culminated in a dreadful spell at Liverpool, followed by an equally poor time at his former club AC Milan. However, the Italian has since reinvigorated his career in France, showing glimpses of why he was once considered one of the best young forwards on the planet.

If United are able to negotiate a deal, it would be a massive capture for the Eagles, although they would have to prepare for the antics that may follow a player of Mario Balotelli’s nature.

Fernando Torres — Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders

If MLSSoccer is correct, the Fire could be chasing yet another Spanish legend in addition to goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

Multiple reports have linked Spanish striker Fernando Torres, a player whom I, as a Liverpool fan, hold dear to my heart, with a move to MLS. It appears Torres’ most likely destination is either Chicago or Seattle.

Both clubs have been linked to Torres recently, although SB Nation has reported that the Seattle Sounders are no longer interested, leaving Chicago as the likely destination for the 34-year-old, provided he does not opt for a big money move to China.

MLSSoccer suggests that the Fire are preparing to claim discovery rights to the player, and could sign Torres when he decides to leave current club Atletico Madrid in the summer.

Madrid is Torres’ boyhood club, and he is currently in his second spell with the Spanish side. During the interim years, Torres had a fantastic career with Liverpool in England and became a club legend before moving to Chelsea. There is little doubt that Liverpool got the very best out of the striker, but he has shown recently that he is still an incredible talent.

Torres has scored 21 times in 33 appearances this time around for Atleti, which is impressive considering the other top-forwards he has had to contend for playing time with.

If Chicago can sway the player into choosing MLS over China in the summer, they would have even more firepower in what is already a high caliber team. Plus, as a Liverpool fan living in New England, I would love to see El Niño in the Eastern Conference.

Zlatko Junuzovic — Orlando City SC

It appears that an international break was exactly what the Rumor Radar needed in order to once again churn out notable transfer rumors.

Fußball Transfers in Germany is suggesting that Austrian central midfielder Zlatko Junuzovic may be on his way to Florida. German reports cite MLS side Orlando City SC, along with another unnamed club, as the suitors interested in the services of Junuzovic, whose contract expires in the summer.

Junuzovic, an Austrian international, has spent the last six years with Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, but has failed to agree to a new contract deal with Bremen. This has led to a renewal of interest from Orlando, who tried to sign to player back in the winter.

Orlando is permitted, according to transfer guidelines, to negotiate directly with a player whose contract expires in less than six months, and the Lions have done just that, reportedly offering Junuzovic a salary hovering around 2 million euros per year.

Junuzovic, 30, still has plenty left in the tank, and would sure up any MLS midfield. Although he typically plays a box-to-box type role, the Austrian can also drop deeper to provide cover for the back line. Bremen’s captain is a midfield engine who will give his all, regardless of his positioning on the pitch.

Junuzovic has shown the capability for a little flair now and again, too, and is famous for his triple nutmeg (triple!) against Borussia Dortmund’s Sokratis Papadopoulos. If you haven’t seen the clip, you’re welcome.

Stephane Mbia — Atlanta United

If there is one thing that Gerardo Martino’s Atlanta United have shown they need this season, it is help in the back.

United have been a team on a remarkable run of form, as of late. However, the Five Stripes are neverthless the same team who were exposed by a weaker Houston Dynamo outfit on Opening Day, a side who conceded four goals. That, combined with the departure of Chilean Carlos Carmona in the back, has certainly left some questions unanswered.

According to Julien Chaput of beIN Sports France, United are reportedly interested in 31-year-old central defender Stephane Mbia, who most recently played in China after stints in France and Spain.

Mbia recently traveled to Atlanta, which only escalated the gossip surrounding the rumor.

Martino is reportedly keen on signing the Cameroonian, who is capable of filling the void at either center back or defensive midfield. Mbia would bring both experience and defensive stability to Atlanta, who are in need of both in their second MLS season.

Mbia has more than 350 career caps across Europe’s top leagues, and would undoubtedly be a welcomed addition to ATL.

Thoughts? Let me know on Twitter. I’ll be tracking each of these rumors throughout the week. Until next time, cheers. 

Rumor Radar — April 2, 2018

Extra Time, MLS, News, Rumor Radar

Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.

Welcome back to the Rumor Radar.

Transfer talk was mum during last week’s international break. Now Major League Soccer is back, and so are the rumors!

LA Galaxy are still recovering from the arrival of zLAtan while other clubs around the league have been doing some international shopping of their own, this week.

Portuguese starlet Andre Horta landed with the other club in Los Angeles, LAFC, while Minnesota United added Columbian winger Darwin Quintero, a player whose signature several MLS clubs have raced to land over the years.

Putting completed transfers aside, there are still plenty of rumors to discuss this week. So let’s kick off, shall we?

Alex Song — New York Red Bulls

This season, the New York Red Bulls are out to prove The Big Apple still belongs to them, despite the recent dominance of rival New York City Football Club, which has threatened their stature in the city.

NYRB are reportedly looking to strengthen their squad with a player that Philly Football Daily Editor-in-Chief Jason Hannigan is surely very familiar with.

According to Kristian Dyer and Metro, former Arsenal holding midfielder Alex Song is currently training with the Red Bulls. Now, while Dyer’s report suggests the trial is strictly for “training purposes,” it cannot be ruled out that Song impresses enough to earn a contract.

Song is out of contract, at the moment, and is reportedly training with the New Jersey outfit solely for the purpose of “getting fit.”

Song is best known for his stint in North London, however, the Cameroonian also featured at one of Europe’s top sides, FC Barcelona. The 30-year-old did not impress at the latter club, and has found himself plying his trade in the Russian Premier League since 2016.

Playing for Rubin Kazan, the player has featured in 21 games, notching only one goal and zero assists. While the player has never been the biggest offensive threat, these numbers are somewhat disappointing, even for a central midfieder.

In the latter stages of his career, the Cameroonian international has taken up a deeper role in the midfield, and this is a position that many clubs in the MLS would love to get some depth at.

For now, Song is merely a trainee with the Red Bulls, but I would not be surprised if a player with his pedigree was penned to a permanent contract soon.

Alexi Gomez — Minnesota United

Despite the recent signing of Darwin Quintero, it appears United are not done this transfer window.

Quintero was brought in to bolster MNUFC’s attacking front, but according to reports, Peruvian international Alexi Gomez could be brought in to help strengthen the midfield. According to Andy Greder of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Loons could be close to sealing the deal for the youngster.

Gomez can augment the midfield in a number of ways. He is naturally a left-sided midfielder, but can just as easily slot into the center of the park. Gomez is also capable of playing up top, as a winger if need be.

Reportedly, the Loons are not seeking a permanent deal for Gomez, opting instead to try and loan him away from current club Universitario in Peru. If a permanent transfer is in the cards, it would reportedly cost Minnesota a feasable $1 million.

Greder says there is more than a “50 percent chance” that the 25-year-old ends up playing in MLS this season, and sources around United seem confident a deal will be finalized.

If it does get done, Gomez will surely be a welcomed addition to the club for his versatility alone.

Tomane — Sporting KC

According to Portuguese news outlet A Bola, young striker Tomane could fancy a move abroad to MLS.

At the moment, there are very few reports linking Tomane to Sporting Kansas City being the frontrunner to sign him, as it has merely been reported the player is being “pursued heavily” by an unnamed MLS side.

Tomane, who’s real name is Antonio Manuel Fernandes Mendes, currently plays for C.D. Tondela in the Portuguese first division. He has posted six goals and seven assists over 25 games this season. T

Tomane functions best as a pure No. 9, but can drop even deeper as a second, withdrawn striker if necessary.

Now, while the 25-year-old’s stats are far from outstanding for a forward, Tomane is valued at around $1 million. Nevertheless, according to The Blue Testament, Tomane is the type of player that Sporting manager Peter Vermes has been known to go after.

Vermes has been able to get the best out of players that have not been huge names upon their arrival, especially in the Portuguese league. Gerso Fernandes is a prime example of this, as the system in Portugal closely mimics Sporting’s playing style.

Could Tomane be the next Portuguese gem to arrive in Kansas City, or is the unnamed club pursuing the player somewhere else in the country? Only time will tell.

Achraf Lazaar — MLS

With the World Cup approaching in just over two months, there are many players making a final push to join their international side ahead of the tournament. One of those players is Moroccan international Achraf Lazaar.

Lazaar is currently on loan from parent club Newcastle United in England to Benevento in Serie A, the Italian first division.

According to ChronicleLive in England, Lazaar is unhappy with his loan spell so far, and hopes to make a move abroad to revive his career and hopefully state his case for the Moroccan World Cup squad. In the player’s eyes, the ideal move is to MLS.

Allegedly, and this comes from the player himself, there are three MLS clubs looking at him, though these clubs remain unnamed. Lazaar has said nothing of who these clubs are, though he has said that “red tape” could provide an obstacle for any club interested in his services.

Lazaar would occupy an international spot in an MLS roster, so this could hint that the clubs looking into his services may not have a spot readily available.

Another hint at who might sign Lazaar is his position.

The 26-year-old can play as either an outside back or midfielder, and prefers to ply his trade on the left side of the pitch. Thus the clubs looking to sign the Moroccan would be the ones in need of depth in those areas.

Looking at the teams who have a lack of depth or have struggled defensively on the left side of the pitch this season, Minnesota United , DC United, the Philadelphia Union, or even Atlanta United all come to mind.

Where do you think he will end up, if at all? Tweet at me, and let me know.

Check back on Monday for the latest edition of the Rumor Radar. In the meantime, connect and follow Noah on Twitter. Cheers.

Rumor Radar — March 26, 2018

Extra Time, MLS, News, Rumor Radar

Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.

Welcome back to the Rumor Radar.

Unfortunately, most of the notable action this week has been on the pitch, and not off it; this week has been rather light on the transfer-rumor front. However, there has been a development in a rumor regarding one of the biggest names in world football.

Yes, you probably know by now who I’m alluding to. It’s Zlatan Time in LA!

So, without further delay, here is a special Ibra Edition of the Rumor Radar. I’ll break down the transfer saga from the very beginning, and then details the events that brought us here, today.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic — LA Galaxy: Done Deal

Fans of LA Galaxy can finally rejoice, as the numerous rumors linking the club with Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic have come to fruition.

The deal was made official last Thursday, and it is being reported that the striker inked a contract worth $1.5 million a year, which would guarantee Zlatan stays in LA until the end of the 2019 Major League Soccer season.

At 36 years of age, and coming off a career altering ACL injury almost a year ago, it remains to be seen whether Ibra is still capable of performing at a world class level. Then again, pundits have been asking that question for years, and the self proclaimed “God of Manchester” has yet to disappoint.

Zlatan scored 17 times in 33 appearances for Manchester United during his two year stint at the club. These stats are impressive when one considers Zlatan missed almost seven months of football over that time period.

Timeline 

The Zlatan to LA rumors have been swirling since 2016, when the player revealed that he would not be signing a new contract with French giants Paris Saint Germain.

Zlatan left PSG as the club’s all-time goalscorer, and for free nonetheless. Immediately, Europe’s top clubs submitted bids, hoping to land Ibra’s signature. In midst of some of those top clubs, was MLS side LA Galaxy, who also found themselves linked to the player.

However, rumors of Zlatan to MLS fizzled out after Zlatan himself said he was not ready for a move to North America and MLS. According to the Swede, he still had something to prove alongside Europe’s elite, and that summer he signed a one year deal with United.

Zlatan would later sign a one year extension 12 months later, keeping him in the red half of Manchester.

Rumors of Zlatan to MLS kicked off once again, after the big man went down with a horrible ACL injury in April 2017.

Many pundits questioned whether Zlatan could recover so late in his career. If he could, would he still be able to play in a competitive English Premier League? Inevitably, Zlatan was rumored to leave, and LA again made the Swede their prime target.

Although a deal with United and Zlatan began to look increasingly imminent about a month ago, it was believed that an agreement would have to wait until the Summer, when the player’s contract ran out with the Red Devils.

Cue the wild ride that was Thursday.

Early Thursday morning, it was revealed that United had officially terminated Ibra’s contract, making him a free agent.

United boss Jose Mourinho had previously stated that he fully backed any decision that his star striker would make, but few expected a deal to materialize before Summer. LA jumped at the opportunity, and soon the reports came in that Zlatan had signed a deal.

Who is Zlatan?

So who is Zlatan Ibrahimovic?

Ibrahimovic has over 350 goals for club and country in a career that has spanned nearly two decades.

“Ibra” is arguably one of the greats of his generation, having played for some of Europe’s elite clubs. He is considered a club legend, for clubs such as Juventus, FC Barcelona, and Paris Saint Germain, to name a few.

Zlatan is also one of the biggest egos in world football.

Ibra once compared himself to both a god and a lion, among others, and he notoriously refused to have a trial once with Arsenal because, “Zlatan doesn’t do tryouts.” Zlatan also has a tendency to talk about himself in third person. 

LA fans got their first glimpse of this on Friday, when the Swede announced his arrival in a way that only Zlatan could. He took out a full page ad in the Los Angeles Times that simply read, “You’re welcome.”

There is no doubt that the Galaxy are getting a quality player.

However, the questions remain are a matter of age, and specifically how long Ibra can play at a top level, as well as how this new organization will handle the player’s immense ego.

One thing is for certain: Zlatan and LA are a perfect fit, and coming to a Galaxy near you, soon.

Check back on Monday for the latest edition of the Rumor Radar. In the meantime, connect and follow Noah on Twitter. Cheers.

Rumor Radar — March 19, 2018

Extra Time, MLS, News, Rumor Radar

Welcome to the Rumor Radar, a weekly column by Philly Football Daily MLS contributor, Noah Barnes. Each week, Barnes breaks down the top MLS transfer rumors of the week.

MLS is officially back in full swing.

Every team has played at least a few games, and it is safe to say both the managers and the fans have a pretty good idea of exactly who and what their club needs to add in order to contend for a MLS Cup this season.

There are still a few months left in this current transfer window, and as a result rumors are swirling and teams are making moves. That being said, here are your top MLS transfer rumors for the week of March 19.

Darwin Quintero — Minnesota United

While the rumors surrounding Colombian striker Darwin Quintero and a proposed move to Canada have subsided, the player has remained in the MLS transfer spotlight.

Now, according to MLSSoccer.com, the latest team to court Quintero is MLS’ Minnesota United. The Loons have apparently ramped up their efforts to land the Columbian, after Canadian sides Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps lost interest last month.

If the rumors are true, it seems Quintero may finally make the move away from current side Club America in Mexico.

Quintero has been a mainstay for the Mexican side for the last few years. His strength and skill on the ball have made the Columbian an indispensable player in America’s Starting XI.

Lately, Quintero has been left out of the Starting XI due to regulations that limit the number of foreign players that can be on the field at any given time. This has greatly limited Quintero’s impact, and has proven to be a motivator in the player’s decision to leave.

However, MNUFC could run into the same issues that previous suitors of the 30-year-old have.

Quintero drives a high price tag, as the player is still valued highly by America despite his lack of consistent playing time. TFC already had a $5 million bid rejected, and the Mexican side has shown they will not sell if their price tag is not met.

Mathieu Valbuena — Toronto FC

Reigning MLS Cup champions Toronto FC have struggled early on in their title defense this season, as the Reds sit without a win in their first two games. Now, manager Greg Vanney is reportedly looking abroad, to bring fresh faces to his side.

According to Turkish outlet Fotomac, the Canadian side are reportedly interested in French attacker Mathieu Valbuena. Valbuena is currently plying his trade in the Turkish Super Lig, playing for giants Fenerbahce. 

Admittedly in the back half of his career, Valbuena, 33, has nevertheless been productive for the Turkish club. Valbuena has 5 goals and 8 assists in 15 appearances, and the Frenchman could provide the spark the TFC attack needs to get back on track.

Aside from goals and assists, Valbuena would also provide a veteran presence in Toronto’s locker room.

Valbuena is a journeyman, of sorts, as a move to Toronto would see him join his fifth professional club. Valbuena has spent most of his career in France with Marseille and Olympique Lyon, so a move outside of Europe could provide a refreshing end to his career.

Yannick Boli — Colorado Rapids

Editor’s Note: Yannick Boli has signed with Colorado. Boli penned a one-year deal with the Rapids last Thursday. 

Colorado Rapids started their 2018 season rather poorly, with a loss to a New England Revolution side that looked hapless after Matchday 1.

According to SB Nation, this defeat could spur a spending spree that would see the Rapids acquire former Ivorian starlet Yannick Boli. Boli is currently a free agent after his most recent club, Dalian Yifang in China, reportedly bought out his contract.

The Ivorian forward has been in fine form with the Chinese side, scoring 16 times while assisting five more in 24 appearances. If he continues this form in MLS, Boli could prove to be a great addition to Colorado’s struggling attack.

Boli, a French-born, Ivorian international, was once tipped to be a budding star, as he originally came up through Paris Saint Germain’s youth system. However, the winger did not reach the heights he was pegged to.

Still, Boli has been able to find some success throughout Europe. Notably, Boli made a name for himself in Russia, scoring 24 goals in 62 games for Anzhi Makhachkala before moving to China.

Boli, 30, can still be of use to the Rapids, though the MLS might offer a greater challenge than anything Boli has seen in recent years.

Luca de la Torre — New England Revolution

New manager Brad Friedel and the New England Revolution are off to an interesting start in 2018.

After an appalling performance in their first match against the Philadelphia Union, the Revs bounced back in thrilling fashion to defeat a Rapids team in extra time, on Matchday 2.

However, New England are still far from a polished outfit. They are in desperate need of game changers, and thus they still will be looking to bring in more talent. Fresh faces, more than anything, are what Friedel’s Revolution needs.

American youngster Luca de la Torre would be a start. According to SB Nation and The Bent Musket, De la Torre could be sent out on loan by English Championship side Fulham.

De la Torre has played in England since his debut with Fulham in 2016. There, he has made five league appearances for the club. While De la Torre has shown promise in the 50 minutes he’s played, the club is looking to loan the young midfielder out, in order to gain more experience and time on the pitch.

Friedel could be keen to bring the 19-year-old in on loan, as the player worked with Friedel for the U.S. Under-20 team. Friedel, a former U.S. youth international coach, knows the player well from his time at the 2017 CONCACAF Championships and the U-20 World Cup last year.

The Revs are reportedly keen on a loan deal with Fulham. Given a deal would satisfy both the player and his parent club, and could prove to benefit New England in the short term, this is a rumor to keep tabs on.

Another talented American international could be making his way back across the pond and to MLS soon.

Keep an eye out, throughout the week, for each of these rumored MLS transfers. Check back next Monday for the latest edition of the Rumor Radar. In the meantime, connect and follow Noah on Twitter. Cheers.