NY Minute: Tim Ream To Bolton Heats Up, USA v. Italy (?), Ronaldinho, Henry and More

This morning’s English tabloids have been absolutely blowing up with news of Tim Ream’s presumed move to Bolton.

From the Guardian to the Daily Mail, the move sounds as certain as Gary Cahill’s transfer to Chelsea. In fact, the Mail makes no qualms about the transfer, flatly stating “American defender Tim Ream will be signed from New York Red Bulls in a £2m deal to replace Cahill.” The Guardian, meanwhile, claims that the club is looking for a discounted rate (as reported here yesterday) of half a million off of the Red Bulls £2m asking price (a translated total nearing $2.4 million).

Through 18 games this season, Bolton are owners of a heartbreaking 4-14 record, placing them well into the relegation zone with little hope of recovery. Ream will be looked upon to shore up a defensive line that has been victimized for 41 goals in that span; the highest goals against total in the Prem. Though the price is right, and overseas experience is invaluable in today’s national team landscape, the tumultuous environment with the Wanderer’s will be a trial by fire if there ever was one for Ream, who suffered through a difficult 2011 with the Red Bulls already.

As we await the conclusion to this transfer drama, there is plenty of hot stove action happening in and around the league. Check out some of the top stories in today’s New York Minute:

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USA v. ITALY?

A long rumored friendly between the U.S. and Italy may have been inadvertently confirmed by Italian coach Cesare Prandelli. Speaking of Udinese striker Antonio Di Natale , the coach confirmed that he would be calling the striker back on the squad “for the game against the U.S.A. in February.”

Neither soccer federation has even eluded to the date, though many expected the match to happen. Early reports place the game in Genoa on the leap year date of February 29th.

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RONALDIHNO TO GALAXY? NOT SO FAST

Here is an interesting development. Ronaldinho, who has been a transfer market target associated with a move to the LA Galaxy to replace megastar David Beckham, has once again been connected to the league – but not with Hollywood. A report out of France suggests Ronaldinho may be looking for another team in MLS altogether.

The report quotes American based French agent Jerome Meary. “Yes, we are trying to bring (Ronaldinho) into the League, but there may be a surprise for the club for which he could play. We are preparing a big offer, but it is currently not in Los Angeles.” Could that mean the New York Red Bulls, who’s home arena is in the middle of a large Portuguese population in Harrison, are in the running? (Just a little meat for you to chew on for this barren offseason fire folks).

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WENGER CLAMS UP ON HENRY TRANSFER

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger may have felt chatty heading into the Holiday weekend, but a Christmas Day draw against the Wolves left the manager with little to say on the possible transfer of Thierry Henry. “There is no story and if we sign anybody we will inform you,” Wenger told the Sun.

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HOT STOVE CHEWABLES

DIDIER DROGBA – Chelsea’s overpowering striker has been subject to an MLS move for weeks, though nothing concrete has materialized. The latest reports have him going the way of Nikolas Anelka with a multimillion dollar move to China.

HERNAN PERTUZ – The Medellin defender is said to be close if not already set to join FC Dallas, according to Goal.com.

BONIEK GARCIA – The Honduran midfielder, 27, who plies his trade with Olimpia, has openly spoken about the option for a move to MLS. “We’ve had talks with a few teams in MLS, but there is nothing concrete,” Garcia told Diez. “If there is no posibility of heading to Europe, MLS is a good option. I won’t lose hope that I’ll have an opportunity to play football internationally.”

ADOLFO BAUTISTA – “El Bofo” is a yearly participant in the MLS Hot Stove. The Mexican midfielder, 32, is once again flirting with the idea of coming stateside; most recently linked with Chivas USA.