For those of you wanting the team to announce a new center-back signing today, I wouldn’t hold your breath. According to Jamie Goldberg at the Oregonian, we’re likely going to have to wait until the summer transfer window.
Originally the deal was, the Timbers would bring in a center-back to pair with Captain Liam Ridgewell to solidify the back line. But now this mystery CB’s arrival has been pushed back to June, where he can take the field on July 10th, when the summer window is officially open.
The original name being brought up was 30 year-old Ghanaian John Boye who plays for Turkish Club Sivasspor.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle put the kibosh on that with a couple of tweets this morning.
I'm told that Portland's deal to bring in new CB will not get done today. It's not John Boye either. Scheduled to arrive in July. #RCTID— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) May 8, 2017
So if it’s not John Boye, who is it? According to our own Chris Rifer the name being floated around is Larrys Mabiala. He has quite the CV, having played for PSG, Plymouth Argyle and OGC Nice.
The 29 year-old defender is also a Congolese International.
With Boye ruled out, the only remaining name we've heard is Larrys Mabiala. His club, Kayserispor, is 6 pts clear of rel w/ 4 to play #RCTID— Chris Rifer (@ChrisRifer) May 8, 2017
Rifer also goes on to note, that Mabiala is the team skipper and his team Kayserispor is currently in a relegation battle which could be the hitch in the giddy up to get him here by the end of this window. Now apparently the Timbers have already signed the player but because of several factors including the relegation battle means that he won’t be available until July.
The Timbers will have to continue using a makeshift center-back pairing. They’ve been using defensive midfielder Lawrence Olum since original CB signing Gbenga Arokoyo blew out his achilles tendon on his left foot and has been lost for the season. Roy Miller has also had a run out while Ridgewell was injured.
This deal should have been done already (Porter all but promised we’d have a center-back in place by May), the back line needs the strength and it’s not just there at the moment. Do I need to go back to this weekend and the pasting we got at the hand of the Quakes? Our back line needs help now, not later.
I hate to say it but it could be a long three months until his arrival.