BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, August 22, 2011
MLS and Blackburn Rovers have agreed to a fee for FC Dallas central defender George John, but the potential transfer's completion is far from done.

The 24-year old central defender is on his way to Greece to obtain Greek documentation that will allow him to play in the English Premier League as the dual-citizen American would not qualify for a work-permit otherwise.

"George is on a plane right now headed to Athens to get his Greek ID," John's agent Ted Philipakos told YA. "[He] is technically a Greek citizen, but he can't be registered as an EU player without a Greek ID or passport."

"According to his attorney in Athens, he'll have it Tuesday or Wednesday. It's just a formality."

While neither MLS or Philipakos would confirm a figure, Blackburn has agreed to a transfer fee for John that is believed to be around $2 million.

In addition to the Greek papers, John must also agree to personal terms with the club. Though, these negotiations have yet to begin, the two sides should begin talking in the coming days.

"We need to agree to personal terms before we go to England," Philipakos added. "We haven't really started negotiations. We're hoping to hear from Blackburn and reach an agreement in principle or at least something close to that."

While some reports are out that the deal is a done deal, Philipakos insists that it is not. Blackburn's defense has struggled in the early part of the English season and the club is looking to add more than one defender.

"From my understanding, Blackburn is looking at more than one center back," Philipakos concluded. "It is not a foregone conclusion, but we're doing what we can and have to do in order to move towards a deal."
Wednesday August 24, 2011 12:13 pm
It is good that one of our defenders is going abroad because defense requires a great deal of mental toughness and organization which is exactly what European leagues offer. Attacking players, no doubt, benefit as well but, as evidenced by the numerous tean scoring phenoms that sprout up every year, European experience is not a must.

I think one of the best thing Jurgen could do is lobby his contacts in Europe to give American defenders a shot (or if reports are true that he his persona non grata perhaps he should lobby his contacts NOT to give Americans a shot).
Hoppy in ATL
Wednesday August 24, 2011 9:02 am
I think Alex's reason is spot on.... While I will admit that I am in no way an expert on these rules, I would imagine that George John would give Blackburn a lot of "bang for the buck", as he would be a relatively cheap addition to their back line... As history shows, American players earn considerably less than their English counterparts of equal talent....

I remember reading a couple of years ago about FIFA's proposed "Six Plus Five" rule (which would require all FA teams to field no more than five foreign players), which seemed to have plenty of support and was scheduled to go into effect by the 2012-13 season.... With this strict limitation on foreign players looming on the horizon, I'm actually quite surprised to not be seeing more English clubs scrambling to sign foreign players before the rule goes into effect... I imagine that any foreign players over the limitation would be "grandfathered" in once the "Six Plus Five" rule is in place...
Tuesday August 23, 2011 10:16 pm
He has been called up before, but he was injured.
Tuesday August 23, 2011 8:27 pm
I think the reason that GJ is on the EPL radar while Ream, Marshall, etc. might have something to do with EU status and work permit issues.
Tuesday August 23, 2011 4:09 pm
Makes you wonder why he hasn't even been considered for the nats..... He's good enough for an EPL team to consider unlike Ream, Marshall, etc... who get the national team cameos..... sigh.....
Marc Silverstein
Tuesday August 23, 2011 11:48 am
The article should be corrected to read the deal is worth $2mill English pounds, therefore about $3.3 mill (US).
Tuesday August 23, 2011 12:03 am
Is George John even wanting to play for the US?

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