Clint Dempsey to the Seattle Sounders: This transfer is pretty baffling. Clint Dempsey is in his prime. He plays for Tottenham Hotspur, which will qualify for next season’s Champions League. (You heard it here first.) He is a cult hero. So why did he decide to leave the Premier League?
I watch Major League Soccer regularly, manage an MLS fantasy team, and tolerate the incoherent bloviating of pundits like Alexi Lalas and Simon Borg. I am both an American soccer fan and a fan of American soccer. But I would love it (love it) if Dempsey stayed in England for a few more seasons.
Cesc Fabregas to Manchester United: Last month, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward left the team’s Asia Tour to attend to “urgent business.” According to the English media, Woodward was finalizing a deal for Cesc Fabregas, who lost interest in Barcelona when it became clear that Xavi Hernandez has resilient knees. Needless to say, Fabregas hasn’t joined United – nor, for that matter, has anyone else. I’m increasingly certain that David Moyes and Woodward, who replaced the unpopular but devastatingly effective David Gill, have no idea what they’re doing.
Luis Suarez to Arsenal: It’s impossible to understand this transfer saga without considering The Evolution of Luis Suarez’s Discontent. In June, when Suarez began making get-me-out-of-here noises, he complained that the English newspapers had treated him “unfairly.” Then Real Madrid – which, for the record, is subject to even more media scrutiny than Liverpool – shifted its attention to Gareth Bale, who apparently wants to join former Spurs teammate Luka Modric on the Bernabeau substitutes bench. Suddenly, Suarez stopped worrying about the press and started talking about The Magic of the Champions League. Arsenal plays in the Champions League (though for how much longer, no one really knows). And Arsenal, it appears, is where Suarez will end up.
Edinson Cavani to Paris St. Germain: I’m not exactly an expert on French football – number of Ligue 1 games watched in the last year: zero – but I like to think I understand the psychology of Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Zlatan’s team must revolve around Zlatan; that’s why his move to Barcelona didn’t work out. Last month, PSG spent more than 55 million pounds on Edinson Cavani, a prolific center forward who will almost certainly get in Zlatan’s way. Mild-mannered PSG coach Laurent Blanc would sell Ibrahimovich if he could, but only a handful of teams can afford his salary.
Wayne Rooney to Chelsea: It’s utterly ridiculous to suppose that Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United future hinges on whether fans boo him at Rio Ferdinand’s testimonial. After all, Rooney is already “angry and confused.” Negotiations have already broken down. Presumably, Rooney has already made a decision.