Finally, Some Signs of Silly Season

Doug Pensinger

Things are finally getting funny for the Red Bulls this off-season.

Things have been uncharacteristically quiet this off-season for the Red Bulls. There have been few transfer rumors, even completely outlandish ones, and even fewer signings.

But thankfully, it looks like a late silly season has finally sprung for the Red Bulls.

On a conference call this week, Head Coach Mike Petke said the team was still looking for a creative midfielder, but isn't rushing, citing the 2013 performances of Jonny Steele and Eric Alexander, both of whom joined the team late in the pre-season (which starts Jan. 24!) and still impressed.

Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso seems a lost cause, only this time for the Red Bulls, though one could argue that was the case the whole time. This week he and Real Madrid agreed on a new deal that will keep him in Spain for another two years. It was rumored he wanted to come to MLS and no one on this side of the water did much in the way of denying it.

Alonso did his bit in the announcement pretty nonchalantly Wednesday...

But where Xabi might not be making the switch to MLS, it's rumored Barcelona's Xavi could.

According to a story on, the website of Spanish sports website Diario AS, the Red Bulls have already reached out to the so-called greatest midfielder of all time via Thierry Henry. The two were, reportedly, close during Henry's stint in La Liga.

Xavi is under contract with Barcelona until 2016, and with the World Cup coming up this summer, the earliest this deal would get done is in the summer transfer window. But the 33-year-old has openly speculated that the twilight of his career might be spent elsewhere.

No doubt Xavi, even a middle-aged Xavi, would be a nice addition to the Red Bulls line-up, but with the rest of the league making plays for guys like Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey and Diego Valeri, all guys in some stage of their prime, you have to wonder how if a 35-year-old central midfielder would have enough in the tank to compete.

That is assuming that these reports are true, which, as we can all attest, are sometimes dubious-at-best. But, hey, at least it's good to have some again. It feels good to write about pie-in-the-sky rumors again.

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