Photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphoto.com
The Tim Ream buzz in England continues to spread throughout the Premier League.
After reports surfaced that Arsenal had a summer bid for the New York Red Bulls centerback rejected and was scouting Ream during the MLS playoffs comes word that West Brom has invited Ream for a trial and is reportedly into offering a loan to the 24-year-old defender.
Ream recovered from an inconsistent second season in MLS to finish strong, especially against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the playoffs, but he was passed over by U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the upcoming friendlies against France and Slovenia after being a staple of the manager's rosters since August.
Here are a few more stories to get your Thursday going:
NGUYEN IN TALKS WITH MLS
Former Indiana University standout and United States international Lee Nguyen is reportedly in talks with MLS to sign with the league after a five-year stint abroad.
Nguyen, a 25-year-old attacking player, has enjoyed a couple of seasons in Vietnam, from where his family originates, after trying his luck in Europe for three years.
The Texas native would reportedly join a weighted lottery as opposed to going through the allocation order, according to MLS.
NEYMAR SIGNS SANTOS EXTENSION
Brazilians sensation Neymar is constantly the talk of the transfer market, but teams will have a harder time prying him away from Santos after the club's president announced that he signed the player to a long-term contract extension.
According to president Luiz Alvaro Ribeiro, Neymar has signed on to stay at Santos until the summer of 2014, when Brazil hosts the World Cup. It was originally thought that Neymar would stay at Santos, which has reportedly fielded big offers from the likes of Chelsea and Real Madrid, through next month's FIFA Club World Cup before hitting the transfer market in the winter. The club, howevern has made it clear that it wishes to hang onto the forward, who was recently named a finalist for the Ballon d'Or.
BARCELONA EKES BY THIRD-TIER CLUB
Barcelona had a more difficult time than expected in the first leg of its Copa del Rey fourth-round fixture with third-tier L'Hospitalet, needing a long-range effort from Andres Iniesta to eke by with a 1-0 result on the road on Wednesday.
Fielding a team that included Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa and Carles Puyol (but not Lionel Messi), Barcelona settled for the modest scoreline, one that it will carry to the second leg at Camp Nou next month. Here are highlights of Iniesta's goal:
What do you make of the Ream-West Brom link? Would you want your MLS team to land Nguyen? Do you actually see Neymar staying with Santos until 2014? Surprised at Barcelona's Copa del Rey result?
Share your thoughts below.