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Red Bulls Paper Revue: December 20, 2021

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Fábio is linked to Turkey, Vincent Bezecourt winds up in Singapore, and Anatole Abang is still in Azerbaijan in this week’s links

SOCCER: NOV 20 MLS Cup Playoffs - New York Red Bulls at Philadelphia Union
Is Fabio on his way to brighter pastures after leaving New York?
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to the Red Bulls Paper Revue presented by Once a Metro.

My eternal frustration is that the 1947 film Kiss of Death is never streaming on any service. You can find the adequate, unspectacular 1995 remake starring Nicolas Cage and David Caruso everywhere, a status not shared by the original. Sure, I could probably purchase a copy and grow my digital library, but I enjoy the thrill of the hunt and exhilaration when a movie lands on my internet doorstop. We must all continue waiting for the things we want to watch and also transfer rumors.

Here’s this week’s top story.

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The End-of-Year Roster Decision announcement is always a fun read. A simple perusal yields the reasonable inference that Fábio is not returning to the club. The Brazilian striker’s option-to-buy was “declined” with nary a mention of negotiation or discussion.

His parent club, Oeste, had a dismal season in Group B of the Campeonato Brasileiro Série C, earning a second consecutive relegation and dropping to the fourth tier. The task ahead is difficult: earn promotion or drop out of national competition, as the division is composed of teams that qualified via state tournaments. Only, Fábio might not be on the roster in 2022.

According to Focus Transfer Haber on Twitter, the striker has drawn the attention of Fenerbahçe. The Turkish giants have claimed the Süper Lig 27 times and never been relegated, which could be a quite appealing prospect considering the circumstances. The club is currently at fifth in the table, already carrying a few forwards.

This is, of course, a rumor posted on social media, but we’ll keep you posted because what else is there to do?

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There’s a player who reportedly wants a transfer in the upcoming window and his name is Kaku.

Rumors surfaced that representatives for the Al-Taawoun attacker have met with the club, looking for a departure. According to Al Riyadh, a “Gulf club” has made a $3.5 million offer, joining interest from elsewhere in the Middle East and South America. His contract is nowhere near complete, with a buyout said to be in the range of $5 million.

There is also speculation that certain members of the Al-Taawoun board would be open to a sale, although an official dismissed these claims. “We are keen to keep him,” said club president Saud Al-Rashudi. “We met during the past two days with Kaku and his agent and confirmed that we are ready to present an improved offer to the player and provide facilities to attract his family… even if he wants [to go to the capital or] one of the Gulf countries… The player has a desire to leave [and] he has offers. He told us two months ago and spoke with Portuguese coach José Gomes as well, and directly we refused that… I rejected [an offer] completely and demanded from the one who offered me to close the issue and not open it again. Kaku is one of the stars of the team and abandoning during this period is crazy.”

That’s… certainly an interesting and unexpected turn of events.

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New York Red Bulls III (also known as Celtic) lost out on some money.

When Lewis Morgan initially signed with Inter Miami in 2020, his transfer included a 15% sell-on clause. Unfortunately for the Scottish super-club, his trade to the Red Bulls involves allocation money and not real cash, a quite tragic consequence of Major League Soccer’s single-entity structure. Celtic will be forced to go without the hoped for $180,000.

I suppose they’re not too fussed after receiving a reported $5.5 million for Patryk Klimala.

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The New York Red Bulls’ first-round SuperDraft selection has moved to a new club.

Luther Archimède signed with Sacramento Republic FC, joining the USL Championship outfit for the 2022 season. After a long wait due to rumored Visa issues, he appeared in 14 matches, contributing three goals and one assist. The Guadeloupe international was previously on the books and in the books at FC Sochaux and Syracuse University, respectively.

I suppose on the scale of smashing success to crushing whoopsie-doodle failure, this first-round pick could be considered a solid… “Eh.”

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KVC Westerlo closed out the first half of the season with a 1-1 draw against Royal Excelsior Virton, securing a point in the 93rd minute. David Jensen started, and Once a Metro is working to confirm whether he played goalkeeper. [He did. The opponent’s goal was a penalty conversion.] De Kemphanen (The Ruffs) are now ten points clear of second-place Waasland-Beveren with a match in hand, high-stepping into the top division.

The Dane is aware of the club’s dominance. “Westerlo breathes football and is ready to step higher,” Jensen said prior to the match. “We do not underestimate any team in First Division B. But I do not want to be falsely modest and I am sure that Westerlo has the best team in the series.”

Did you know that Belgium’s top export is pharmaceuticals, followed by vehicles and machinery? Now you do. Feel free to share that information with your friends.

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Past “Will he? Won’t he?” transfer rumor Zlatko Junuzović is having a below-average year for Red Bull Salzburg.

The 34-year-old midfielder has played a mere five matches, struggling with long-term injury issues. After an initial calf problem, his return to the lineup in late-August was spoiled by a persistent heel problem that cannot go away. According to Salzburger Nachrichten, he “decided against an operation and is in therapy in Germany.”

Prior to the injury, Junuzović enjoyed searing form with four assists in those five appearances. Perhaps his rehabilitation will continue in New Y-… No, no, let’s not board the speculation train before purchasing a ticket.

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This holiday season is delivering on Herbert Hoover’s 1928 promise of “A chicken in every pot, a Mathias Jørgensen interview in every publication.”

The Danish striker is once again reflecting on the “roller coaster ride,” admitting that his Major League Soccer journey failed to proceed as hoped. The COVID-19 pandemic made the year more difficult, exacerbating the existing challenges of forging a career abroad. He previously expressed dismay with seeing the fallout while isolated in his New Jersey apartment.

“Then you sat alone over there for a half a year to a year, without being able to get visitors,” Jørgensen told Tipsbladet. “The world suddenly turned upside down, and I did not expect that when I traveled over there, that everything could change in a split second… It was hell, to put it bluntly… It is also no secret that I applied for a home [move to] Denmark… But I’ve gotten a lot out of it humanly. I have learned to go through some things I had not imagined I would have to go through, and I have matured in a completely different way than I had anticipated.”

Jørgensen has “no regrets” over his time in New York, having taken the “perfect opportunity” at a young age. The organization provided a “huge learning experience” that he will carry for the rest of his career. Now the move is to find a club in Denmark and earn first-team minutes, open to any potential lead.

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Way back in June, this very soccer blog engaged in good-natured speculation about right back Jhilmar Lora. The Peru international was reportedly receiving interest from MLS and Liga MX following impressive performances in the Copa Libertadores. As was noted at the time, Red Bull Brasil had scouted his club, Sporting Cristal, in the past.

The story has advanced, with RB Bragantino reportedly chasing Lora. He is reportedly due to leave in the upcoming transfer window, with his club offering 50% of his rights. Sporting director Juan José Luque claims he has yet to receive a “firm offer” but does not rule out a move.

There is, of course, a team in MLS that badly, badly, badly needs a right back after the departures of Tom Edwards, Kyle Duncan, and Mandela Egbo. While Lora might not be headed to New York, such a transfer would certainly knock someone loose from the Bragantino depth chart. This is a situation to monitor, casually, but don’t get too invested until real movement happens.

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Once in the rumor mill, Sebastián Sosa Sánchez is set to become available.

The Uruguayan striker and Patronato have been unable to agree to an extension. “He is willing to leave for a better future,” club president Oscar Lenzi told SportTime. “We offered him a one-year contract and a very juicy offer but it is impossible. We are not going to risk the capital of the club. To give you an idea, what we offered does not reach half of what a Newell’s could offer.”

After scoring ten goals in 31 appearances, interest is growing. Sánchez has already been linked to a few clubs. The newest name to enter the news cycle is Colo Colo, 32-time winners of the Chilean Primera División.

The Red Bulls and Sánchez have failed to occupy the same media space for months, but, hey, maybe there was and is genuine interest.

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Vincent Bezecourt has a new club.

The former Red Bull is headed to Singapore to join Geylang International FC. The Eagles – located in the planning area of Bedok – finished last season at sixth place in the eight-team Premier League table. He greeted the supporters in a video posted to the club’s official Instagram account. The midfielder is “very excited to get started.”

Bezecourt was most recently with FC Alashkert in the Armenian Premier League, winning the title last season and completing the Champions/Europa/Conference League passage. However, turning down a contract extension was influenced by a few factors, including what could be described as instability at the club. According to an interview with Footballski, the 28-year-old is currently finishing his MBA with a specialty in sports management.

That’s the dream, really. Travel the world and gain new experiences while playing a sport. Come out of your playing career educated and interesting.

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The Anatole Abang transfer saga continues.

The Cameroon international striker departed Keşlə FK, having not met his financial desires. “As for the new contract, I wanted to increase my salary,” he told Futbolinfo.az. “If they wanted me to stay in the club, they had to [have] offered a higher amount. But later the club did not agree. I also started thinking about evaluating other suggestions.”

Despite previous suggestions, those options may not exist in Azerbaijan. The manager of Zira – one of the mentioned parties – shared in his press conference that Abang is “a good football player” but the club is “not expected to transfer [him].” There are opportunities from the “first [divisions] of France, Portugal, Turkey, and Korea.”

However, what if Abang wants to stay in The Land of Fire? “I feel very comfortable in Azerbaijan,” said the 25-year-old. “I have been here for a year, [and] I have never had a problem. I walk comfortably on the street, have fun with friends and, most importantly, live in a quiet country. My wife is pregnant, [and] our child will be born in a few months. I want the child to be born in Baku, let’s spend some time here.”

If a more suitable offer does not arrive, he will move to a new country with his family. As details emerge, Once a Metro shall continue to report every detail. This transfer saga is the most important thing in all of our lives.

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Oh, now look at what you did, Schalke and Hamburg! You made Frank Rost sad. Apologize to him.

The one-time Red Bulls goalkeeper and Designated Player provided a dismal assessment of his former employers.“The clubs are not as big as they used to be,” said Rost. “But in the fourth year of the second division at HSV and the long decline and relegation of Schalke last summer, there is not much left of the glamour of bygone days… There’s nothing less of the Bundesliga. You really can’t talk about that anymore. Both teams are currently too weak in terms of football for that.”

According to the story, Rost no longer wants to watch matches. While perhaps influenced by the current situation, this may be a symptom of getting older. The things we used to enjoy in the past fail to provide mental stimulation or emotional comfort, like writing a weekly post of tangential Red Bulls’ news.

Here’s a joke that was submitted by Edna of Parsippany-Troy Hills.

He is certainly FRANK in his assessment of those clubs.

Thank you, Edna. I imagine he is Frank all the time.

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Do you have a story you’d like to submit to the Paper Revue? Email us at bencorkOAM@gmail.com or send a DM to @Once_A_Metro on Twitter.