Tim Ream is a hot commodity.
After the Red Bulls' Emirates Cup run, there were reports Ream was attracting interest from Arsenal. Rumors persisted through the summer - with reports surfacing after the season that Arsenal had a transfer offer on the table for Ream - and into the fall, with Arsenal sending scouts to the playoff match against FC Dallas.
By Thanksgiving, the number swelled to six, though the trustworthiness of People.co.uk, "the best source for national and international news, celebrity gossip, lifestyle ideas and pet care," for transfer news is somewhere between slim and none. But when gossip sites are mining the possibilities of your transfer for hits, you take it for what it's worth.
Off-season stints with Bolton and West Bromwich Albion, set up with help from new USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann, kept the coals burning, with West Brom boss Roy Hogson unsure if they'd make a loan offer for Ream, then ready to step up their game and lock up Ream for the EPL's stretch run.
Now, Bolton is back in the picture, reportedly readying a £3 million bid (roughly $4.6 million) for Ream.
If Ream seems as if he's meandering at the start of his long, inevitable journey to Europe, it isn't any fault of his. It's Erik Soler, who, truth be told, is working in everyone's best interest.
Soler reportedly blocked the transfer deal to Arsenal earlier in the summer, and awkwardly tried to sign Ream to an extension, one he reportedly turned down. At the same time, he recommended Ream "should stay here this season and next ... It would be good for him." Last week, Soler put the kibosh on any possible loan deal for Ream - or anyone else for that matter - when he said, unequivocally, "Tim is going to play for us next year," early last week.
Not only is Soler doing right by the team by keep the players he has, especially in the back with Rafael Marquez in the midfield next season, but he's doing right by Ream, too. It is good for no one if Ream ends up like Eddie Johnson, a player with a lot of potential, who left the then-Kansas City Wizards for Fulham, where he was either with the reserves or on loan more often than not with the club. Johnson was let go by Fulham last EPL off-season.
The Soler/Backe regime has been chided again and again for their ignorance in running the team, though this doesn't seem to be one of those times. A rebound from his sophomore slump and continued play with the national team, in games that matter no less, can only raise his stock, and can only help the Red Bulls win games.