As is the fate of any successful striker, Fanendo Adi has been repeatedly linked to a number of European clubs during the silly season. The latest supposed suitors for the Portland Timbers forward are Scottish giants Celtic, linked to Adi by Danish tabloid BT.com.
Beyond Celtic, Adi has been linked to Rubin Kazan, Cardiff City, Werder Bremen, Sporting Lisbon, Shanghai SIPG, and more during the current European transfer window. Rubin Kazan in particular, BT claims, have already had a $2m transfer fee rejected by the Timbers. The Timbers are looking for a transfer in excess of $3.5m, according to the BT report.
Does it seem likely that the Timbers will sell Adi with the start of the new season coming up quickly? Not particularly.
Reports put Adi's initial transfer fee to F.C. Copenhagen to just shut of $1.5m and while selling him on could net the Timbers a tidy profit -- and the maximum amount of allocation money allowed by MLS -- if they can get their reported asking price, Adi is too central to the Timbers' style of play to be easily replaceable in a season where the team has designs on the CONCACAF Champions' League.
Gavin Wilkinson and Caleb Porter have talked about keeping together the "core" of last year's championship winning team this offseason, despite losing impactful players like Jorge Villafana and Rodney Wallace to the international market. While the pair have not defined just who is a "core" player and who is not, Adi certainly seems to fit the description for the Timbers; starting out as a generic target man and evolving into the fulcrum of the Timbers' multifaceted attack.
With Adi's star on the rise and the big man just entering his prime as a player at 25, the bids are going to keep coming, but with no obvious heir to the starting striker spot -- apologies to Jack McInerney, who has yet to play a match with the team -- the Timbers would have to be a little crazy to sell Adi now and believe that their ambitions for the season could remain intact.