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MLS: European clubs eye Adu as RSL looks for his replacement

Published July 19, 2007 11:53 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Posted: 11:57 PM- While speculation swirls that Freddy Adu is on the verge of leaving Real Salt Lake for a top-flight club in Europe, RSL apparently is getting closer to landing a high-profile international star to buttress its rebuilding effort.

The team had been pursuing midfielder Jay Jay Okocha - the 33-year-old Nigerian that has played in three World Cups, won an Olympic gold medal and been named to FIFA's list of the 100 greatest living players - and ESPN reported during its broadcast of the Major League Soccer All-Star Game on Thursday night that a signing might be close.

But RSL expects to move in a different direction, sources said, after coach Jason Kreis completed a scouting trip to Argentina earlier this week. Which player Kreis is pursuing, however, remains unknown.

Meanwhile, Adu's representative planned to meet with Celtic FC officials while they were in Denver to play the MLS all-stars.

Agent Richard Motzkin has put off interview requests from The Tribune over the past two weeks, but recently told the Scottish Sun newspaper that "my sole reason for going to the All-Star Game isn't to speak to Celtic, but some might say it would be a good time to talk if both parties are in the same place. Freddy has always said he wants to go to Europe at some stage in his career, and any player would have a lot of respect for a club like Celtic."

Media reports in Europe have said that Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League also is interested in Adu, after the 18-year-old enjoyed a spectacular run leading the U.S. Under-20 national team into the quarterfinals of the U-20 World Cup in Canada earlier this month.

Adu has not yet rejoined RSL, but could be back in training today. The heralded former trialist with Manchester United is RSL's highest-paid player at $550,000 a year, and could fetch a $2 million transfer fee. Adu also had been linked to Chelsea, but that club's interest has reportedly waned.




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