First off, it seems that Real Betis has completed a €1M loan agreement for Bryan Ruiz until the end of the year. At first, a loan was not something that excited me. However, the more I think about it, the better it seems. Ruiz's value has to be at a fairly low value right now. So low in fact, I doubt it can get much worse. If he has a decent second half at Real Betis and then follows that up with a decent world cup performance, his value can only rise. Fulham can then sell him when the value has recovered a bit. All in all, a smart piece of business. I'm still a little sad to see him go, but this goodbye from Craven Cottage Newsround says it better than I could.
I'm sure you heard by now that Michael Bradley has decided to move on from Roma to MLS. He had been linked with Fulham earlier. Would you be surprised to know that there was something to that link?
Fulham a week ago was close to get Bradley on loan with buying option, but this Toronto bid has changed everything— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) January 9, 2014
I'm sad we couldn't get him, but at the salary he's making (reportedly well over £100K/week) and the length of the contract (five or six guaranteed years), I don't think Fulham could compete. And honestly, I don't think he's worth that kind of commitment from a non MLS side.
So, the search for a midfielder continues. Might Jucilei be the one? Fulham have apparently bid on him. Meulensteen should be aware of his talents and limitations having worked with him at Anzhi. There is some worry of securing a work permit, but if Willian can get one, he should be able to as well. They're basically the same age and have a similar amount of caps. You can always argue how hard it is to get a cap for Brazil.
Finally, two rumors about shoring up the defense. The first is Johnny Heitinga. Skybet gives Fulham the best odds on signing him. I however am not sold. He's more of a stop gap. He's the kind of player you bring in if you fear Brede Hangeland is not going to recover at all this year. He's not much of a player for the future. The second is Alexander Milosevic. It's not the first time we've been linked to him. Even though he's probably not as good as Heitinga is right now, I'd be much more excited for him. He is exactly the kind of player that you can have for the future.
Once again, treat this as an open thread for all rumors big and small. Any you've heard? Any you like? Any that you oppose vehemently?