United Rumor Roundup I: Hondurans Aplenty

Before we move on to the fourth and final post in the "What I Want For Christmas" series, I thought I would take a chance to compile the transfer rumors surrounding DC United at the moment. My aim is to revisit the topic weekly as we progress through the off-season. So, without further ado . . .

Walter Martinez

A Honduran forward, currently plying his trade in China, but seems to be the most likely of the early transfer rumors. Martinez is reportedly quick and a solid finisher (6 in 16 for the national team isn't too shabby), and being the #3 forward option for Honduras is nothing to sneeze at, considering they've got the likes of Suazo up top.

This would be a solid early move to build the depth in our striking corps, particularly if we can't get Doe back. Hopefully, the rumors of his quickness are not exaggerated, as it would be refreshing to have somebody quick up top again. It does raise a question though. An international striker is likely going to carry a significant salary hit. If that's the case, we've got a significant chunk of our salary cap tied up in three forwards--Emilio, Moreno, and Martinez, and they won't all be starting.

This leads me into two lines of speculation regarding our underperforming Brazilians. (1) Are we looking to move Emilio? And would anybody in MLS be willing to take on his salary? Most likely, you'd be looking at a foreign suitor in Mexico or Central America. I have to say that I'd take a forward who could do other things besides finish over Emilio, even if he wasn't as pure a goal scorer. Food for thought.

And speculation (2)? I wonder if Fred's loan move down under is a shop window? He carries a pretty significant cap hit for an attacking player that hasn't posted spectacular numbers. Guerrero carries about 2/3 the salary and adds defense and hard work to the bargain. If we can land a productive forward for approximately the same salary that Fred is on, and have a likely starter for Fred's position already on the books . . ?

Stephen Appiah

One of the more interesting rumors to surface as of late, though one that seems dead on arrival. The Ghanaian midfield dynamo was apparently shopped to MLS, with talks even progressing a bit in DC before being abandoned. Was this due to excessive wage demands or did the front office get gun-shy given the rumors swirling about the questionable state of Appiah's knee? Or perhaps they just figured out that this was an agent move to get Milan to the bargaining table more quickly.

One thing is for certain, with a $2+ million rumored salary on the table, the move would have meant Gallardo's certain departure. Could a lack of options about what to do with Gallardo have scuttled the move? And if the idea was seriously entertained by the FO, does that mean that they're ready to declare the Gallardo experiment a failure and move on?

Osman Chavez

A defender who can reportedly play wide or central, though the only accounts I've heard make him more of a fullback/wingback, and a left sided one at that, where we just signed Burch to an improved deal. This one smells more like an agent using DC as a bargaining chip to get Chavez where he wants to go (out of Platense and back to Motagua, where he was on loan). If true, it wouldn't hurt to have depth and speed (again with the rumors!) on the back line, but I'm not holding my breath. I expect signings to fill the gaps in defense, but probably not Chavez.

Jocimar Nascimento

A Brazilian who has been turning out for Motagua in Honduras. I've only seen sketchy mention of Nascimento, but he apparently moved to Honduras on Emilio's recommendation. Again, this one looks more of a money play than anything else, particularly if negotiations with Martinez are proceeding apace.

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