U.S. Men's National Team

Aston Villa makes close to $4 million bid for Guzan



                                                                                  Photo by ISI Photos

Just when you thought Brad Guzan was ready to don the green hoops of Celtic, Aston Villa has stepped in and taken control of the chase for the Chivas USA goalkeeper.

Villa has upped its transfer offer for Guzan to approximately 2 million pounds, doubling the reported 1 million offer made by Celtic, sources told SBI on Monday. If you’re not good at converting currency, Villa’s offer ads up to an almost $4 million bid for the 23-year-old goalkeeper, surpassing the transfer fee Manchester United paid for Tim Howard in 2003.

The looming issue with a Villa move is whether Guzan could secure a work permit in England. There is some belief that Guzan would have an easier time securing a work permit in Scotland (Don’t ask me why, that’s what I hear).

The decision is now up to Guzan. Does he take the bigger Aston Villa offer and battle it out with Scott Carson for the No. 1 job (and potentially replace Carson, who is on loan from Liverpool), does he sign with Celtic and serve as understudy to Artur Boruc, who seems destined to leave Celtic this summer, or does he stay with Chivas USA until the summer, when he can sign a pre-contract and move a step closer to a free transfer and bigger payday?

What do you think he should do? Share your thoughts below.

  • dwbpnm

    Haig I agree with you mostly but there is a thought out there that it is becoming increasingly difficult for the stature of clubs to change because of the massive differences in revenue a club like ManU, Arsenal, etc. bring in compared to clubs like Villa. Some of this difference is due to competing in the Champions League which obviously can change(to some extent) from year to year but much of the difference is due to the massive international following the top clubs have developed. This does not change overnight and as people around the world choose a European club to support the gap widens–> more consistent success –> more foreign fans and cycle is created which makes a “smaller” club like Villa’s ability to make it to the top increasingly difficult unless they find an Abramovich.


  • devil's advocate

    “Just when you thought Brad Guzan was ready to don the green hoops of Celtic…”

    Actually, Guzan would be more likely to don the yellow keeper jersey. Unless he’s got a hidden striker talent we don’t know about.

    I’m sorry. I couldn’t resist. And all the intelligent thoughts were used up in the first 51 comments.


  • dwbpnm

    My last post made me think how much has the final 16 of the champions league changed from year to year over say the last 10-15 years? Off hand I think there are at least 7 teams, ManU, Arsenal, Madrid, Barca, Milan, Juve(not the past two years but they’re headed back that way), and Bayern who are in it almost every year. Add to that list Chelsea who certainly look like they’ll stay in that group as long as Abramovich is around and thats half of the knockout stage which doesn’t really look like it will change for the foreseable future.


  • Haig

    dwbpnm, I don’t necessarily disagree with the idea that the established “super” clubs that you mentioned will sustain their success because of a huge advantage in revenue.

    But it really isn’t hard to imagine a situation where a club with a lot of support and a big stadium gets a benefactor who spends the money to boost the team. Abramovich already did it, though Chelsea usually finished top five before, the ex-Thai PM at Man City is spending, etc. Villa has Lerner and O’Neill and is the major team of the second largest city in the UK (sorry Birmingham City). They’re a club on the rise, and it would be a great opportunity.


  • Ted

    I don’t see a work permit being a problem. The entire idea behind the work permit system, including industries outside soccer, is that the person you are bringing in will be a valuable contribution, that they will be an above average member. It’s there to prevent bad workers or players from flooding the workplace.

    Guzan is an above average keeper, with excellent credentials and tons of potential. The fact that he has made 5 caps while playing behind three Premiership keepers and at times, the likes of Matt Reis, is impressive. The tribunal will know that.

    I’m not a huge fan of British soccer in general (like Tony mentioned, Route 1 style is too prevalent), but it will give a goalkeeper as much chance to show his stuff as Serie A or La Liga. I think with Villa he has a better chance of being a starter.


  • mexicanbluefish

    Either move would be fantastic. He gets a chance to fight for time (become better, hungrier) and this can only help us.


  • East River

    Wow, never noticed it before Ives posted that pic – Guzan has Kasey Keller-pattern baldness!

    Yeah you know Guzan is well on his way to being another world class American keeper when his hair started falling out. Soon he will have to decided between the Keller look or shave it all off like Brad F and Marcus H:-)


  • papa bear

    A big part of me says go for the money (he will beat Scott Carson out; Carson is good but Guzan is markedly better)
    But the lure of essentially Guaranteed Champions League can’t be ignored.
    Ultimately, I go to Villa if I was him since I can’t imagine him not being bought up by a bigger club later on.
    The time to move for Guzan is now. He’s got heat. If Chivas USA falters for some reason the blame will get tacked on to him whether it’s justified or not and drive down his asking price.


  • burt

    @blist- you say it’s possible Celtic may have a closer tie to the home office than Villa. Did you check out who just became Celtic’s chairman? Also, Boruc is widely regarded as about the best ‘keeper in the game at the moment. Celtic is a huge club, but they play in a rinky-dink league. The TV money in the SPL for the winners is about 7% of the last placed EPL team. Boruc is going, and will break the GK transfer record easily.


  • Alex

    burt- Is Boruc really regarded as the best keeper around? Ahead of Buffon, Cech, Casillas, Van Der Sar… Freidel! I know he’s good but is he really the best?

    I think Guzan is definitely capable of claiming the #1 shirt even as early as next season at either of these clubs. I’m liking Villa a lot better though. Celtic offer Champion’s League, but Villa offers games against top competition almost every week.


  • Jon E

    Without knowing what the salaries might be, I have no way of knowing which is financially the better offer. And that’s really the only hard data one could have in this decision. The rest is all just guessing.

    I’m with those who agree that Guzan should probably go to whichever team will let him start, but I have no crystal ball to tell me where either Carson or Boruc will be in June. I think, going on form alone, it would make more sense to try to beat out Carson for the spot than Boruc.

    And the European play seems a wash. The CL is a bigger shop window, sure, but Villa seems likely to contend for a UEFA spot, which ain’t shabby. (And the BPL is a bigger weekly shop window than the Scottish league).

    And, honestly, I don’t really know that the level of either one’s team or one’s opponents is all that important for a goalkeeper’s development (at least not at the level of these two leagues). Guzan, after all, got as good as he did in large part playing for Chivas, which for much of career was the worst team in a mediocre league.


  • Rick R

    Way to be the source of this story for soccernet.com. You are taking over the world!


  • Myles

    Eventhough I’m a Celtic supporter, I think Vila is the best move. Carson’s only on loan which mean if he leaves next season then chances are Guzan will start and given Villa’s current place, they would be playing in UEFA Cup which would be valuble expierence for Guzan. And the fact that he would be starting in the Preimirship week in week out is definitly a good thing.


  • evvy

    The fact is Celtic recently put Boruc on a lucrative contract so they can get a huge fee in the summer before he nears the end of his previous one – so Guzan would be signed to be number one at Parkhead. So his choice is – go to a club who will virtually guarantee him Champions League football every year – a huge club with massive worldwide support , legendary history ,a 60,000 regular home gate or go to a lesser club which at best will challenge to qualify for the second rate UEFA cup – its got to be CELTIC for Brad


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