UPDATE: It looks like these talks are not over yet.
Over the last year, Fanendo Adi has been linked to clubs all across the globe and, despite strong protestations coming out of the Portland Timbers’ camp that the MLS Golden Boot contender is not for sale over the summer, those links just keep multiplying. The latest rumor surrounding Adi, which surfaced on Goal.com yesterday, linked the big man to Mexican club Tigres UANL, as well as mentioning previous links to English Premier League side Crystal Palace, Scottish clubs Rangers and Celtic, and Belgian side Gent.
Where this rumor went further than the previous whispers concerning Adi’s future was in the statements made by a representative of Adi’s, using somewhat forceful language in saying that the club had “promised” to let Adi go over the summer.
Of course, since the story first broke there have been several developments of interest.
Also, Adi — who retweeted the Goal.com report — also tweeted and later deleted “Glory to God !Thank you Portland Timbers thats all I will always say #PTFC”.
All of this seems to point to one clear possibility: that Adi, who would be next to impossible to replace mid-season, will almost certainly be hanging around for the rest of 2016, but could very easily be on his way out after the season wraps up.
A move for Adi seems inevitable at this point. A player in his prime, with an uncommon skill set, and an ambition for bigger things will always be hard to hang on to and Adi is all of those things. For the Timbers, a winter move would give the team time to line up a replacement up top and properly plan out the side’s succession, rather than being forced into the sort of mid-season flailing that has marked the downfall of several MLS clubs in recent history.
The benefit — and motivation — is there for Adi as well in a winter transfer, as the Big Man will have ample opportunity to inflate his value and attract suitors, particularly as word of his availability spreads. Moreover, a major motivation for Adi seems to be getting on the pitch for the Nigerian Men’s National team, the Super Eagles, and a continued high level of play with be essential to achieve that.