Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com
By AVI CREDITOR
Tim Ream's training stints with West Brom and Bolton are just that and nothing more. Officially.
New York Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler made that much clear to reporters on Tuesday, saying that Ream won't be transferred or loaned out despite what conflicting reports from overseas might suggest.
"Tim is going to play for us next year," Soler said. "I met with him, as I did with every single player after the season, and my message was very clear, that we would like him to go on those two training sessions to gain experience, and also to have a personal benchmark on what the mid or lower Premier League would feel like. Apart from that, we have absolutely no other plans than him returning here and gaining some experience that will be good for us."
The rumor mill has been churning out stories that Rafa Marquez and Thierry Henry could also potentially be loaned out, but Soler quashed those as well.
As an honoree and guest for Arsenal's 125th anniversary celebration, Henry was present for the Gunners' victory over Everton over the weekend and became the focus of stories linking him to striker-needy Everton for a potential loan. Soler says: Not happening.
"We have no plans of loaning any players anywhere," Soler said. "Thierry's working out at Arsenal to stay fit. We're happy that he's doing so, but he's coming back, and we're not taking a loan for Thierry or any other players.
"We have not been approached by neither Rafa himself or any other clubs. I have had a long chat with Rafa and he's not going anywhere, he's not asked to go anywhere."
Soler also touched on which areas the team is looking to address in the offseason. After cutting ties with goalkeepers Bouna Coundoul and Greg Sutton and declining the contract option for centerback Carlos Mendes, it's no surprise that Soler alluded to forthcoming moves at both of those positions.
German goalkeeper Frank Rost, who signed with the club as a Designated Player during the summer, remains an option to return between the posts. As for centerback, with Marquez slated for a central midfield role in 2012, the Red Bulls are quite thin at the position beyond Ream and Stephen Keel.
Plans to bring in another central midfielder could be in the works as well, after the Red Bulls declined to pick up Stephane Auvray's contract option. The team traded a second round pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft to get the Guadeloupe international from Sporting Kansas City in a midseason acquisition.
"The first priority is a central defender," Soler said. "We're also working on the goalkeeping situation. I think there is a good possibility that we will have Frank here next year. We're still in discussions with him, and we're also discussing with others. We're also looking at a couple of younger goalkeepers, American ones that we want to bring in. So we hope to have a good mix of a good, talented, upcoming American goalie and Frank or another goalie to head that pack, and develop the young kid."