A flurry of rumors on Thursday linked New York Red Bulls center-back Aaron Long with a possible overseas loan, as signs point to lingering delays in the Major League Soccer season.
According to Steven Goff of Washington post, the 28-year-old defender – currently training in Florida with the United States national team ahead of a friendly against Trinidad and Tobago this weekend – has received an offer from Reading of the English Second Division. Tom Bogert from MLSSoccer.com regular stating that other English clubs as well as French sides have been circling Long as Europe’s transfer window quickly reaches its conclusion on Monday. This profile of contenders corresponds to the frenzy of transfers around Long in the summer of 2019, when West Ham United and Olympique de Marseille were among the clubs that came closest to it to achieve New York’s assessment of the 2018 League Defenseman of the Year.
After this summer, rumors around a possible Long transfer died down as the Red Bulls’ form suffered and the COVID-19 pandemic severely hampered the global transfer market. But as the labor dispute sees Major League Soccer face the potential for even greater delays until the start of its 2021 season, players looking to stay with the national team such as Long (and Seattle forward Jordan Morris, who moved to Swansea City on loan last week) are forced to consider opportunities to play abroad during an interval with no clear end in sight. Transfers of this nature should be familiar to American fans who have seen national team mainstays such as Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey pursue similar winter loans in the European leagues in the last extended MLS offseason.
However, Goff’s report that Reading’s offer included a permanent transfer option would conflict with the premise that Long is making a short-term offer for the match’s fitness. Red Bulls fans hope that in such an event the club will achieve something close to the reported $ 8million charge that West Ham balked at in 2019, and the difficulty of such complex negotiations so late in the transfer window (especially with a low budget club like Reading) makes the likelihood of a permanent deal low.
But the Red Bulls now have a new sporting chief in Kevin Thelwell, who may feel less inclined to play hardball as the club continue. a team overhaul recently given to new head coach Gerhard Struber. Once the star child of the New York development pipeline after growing from a reserve midfielder to a world-class center in the span of two seasons, Long is now a veteran with a high salary cap as well as the ” one of the few players of the Shield 2018 winning team is still behind his central defensive partner Tim Parker was traded to Houston last week.
With only four days left to shake hands and send faxes Before Monday’s deadline, Long’s desire to prove himself at a higher level and land the last big contract of his career could fit perfectly with the new regime’s desire to build a team like them. A quick start from Long next week would be unexpected but shouldn’t come as a shock.