Now that the Theirry Henry signing is complete, the work quickly begins for the Red Bulls to make an additional signing as the team gears up for potentially another designated player.
Head coach Hans Backe commented after Thursday afternoon’s press conference that he is still optimistic in another player, “a central player” being added to the squad.
That player may not yet be the playmaker/distributor Backe has been describing over the past few weeks – the head coach said the club may not get their man this season – but something big may still be on the horizon.
Three weeks ago, Backe told MLSsoccer.com that the team was in talks with two European players and that he was hopeful that one of the “world-class” targets would be added during this summer’s transfer window. After some ups and downs, Backe told reporters on Thursday afternoon that he is hopeful and rather “confident” in at least one addition coming aboard, although it may not be a true playmaker.
Dietmar Beirsdorfer, head of Red Bulls Global Soccer, confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the team is currently after a third designated player who would be a midfield target. He said that there are several options in the work process but, “At this stage, we don’t want to talk about these things.” Beirsdorfer did say he's involved in the discussion and that the club is working on it.
Also involved in the talks with a third designated player is New York’s sporting director Erik Solér. He confirmed to MLSsoccer.com that the club has “a couple different options” and that there is definitely a “first option” that the club is pursuing. Solér also expressed his confidence that a deal will be done this summer to bring in the player, but he would not confirm any names.
Solér wasn't positive the player would be available for next week’s exhibition New York Football Challenge tournament, and downplayed the potential signing’s availability. He did, however, give a slight hint about the possible target.
“The guy is not in MLS at the moment," Solér told MLSsoccer.com with a smirk. "But he is playing somewhere in the world.”
Kristian Dyer is a reporter for MLSSoccer.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs. He can be reached for comment at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012