HARRISON, N.J. -- To stay in shape in case he is called into the January US national team camp, Tim Ream will train with two English Premier League sides next month. He will be at West Bromwich Albion from Dec. 3-10, and then with Bolton Wanderers from Dec. 11-18.
“Both clubs have admired Tim for some time and it affords both parties a chance to see each other up close,” Ream’s agent, Patrick McCabe, told MLSsoccer.com. “[West Brom’s] Roy Hodgson and [Bolton’s] Owen Coyle are top managers, and above all this will be a good opportunity for Tim's professional development.”
The training stints help fulfill national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s stated desire of getting the domestic based players in the national team involved in European training stints to stay sharp and fit.
But while this is training with an eye towards his development, there is always the chance that he will attract more significant interest from a European club in need of a skillful center back. Several clubs have been sniffing around, with a league source telling MLSsoccer.com that English giants Arsenal made a seven-figure offer for Ream last year and made a subsequent loan offer. The Red Bulls refused both overtures.
“There are numerous teams that have been watching Tim for the last two years,” McCabe confirmed. “I won't comment on specific clubs at this time but they are from England, France, Holland, Scotland and Germany. Arsenal did make an offer to purchase Tim at the end of the 2010 season. The offer was rejected and no further negotiations followed. Red Bull was not interested in selling Tim at that time.”
Ream said last month that he would be interested in making a move to Europe when his contract is up. The league still holds two one-year options on his contract.
“Red Bull has maintained that Tim is an important piece of the club for next season,” McCabe said. “Tim certainly is interested in moving to Europe but at the right time and under the right conditions. He still needs to play regularly and Red Bull currently provides that. As he moves toward the end of his contract, I believe that there will be some interesting options for him in Europe in the future.”