Tim Ream Officially Joins Bolton On Transfer From Red Bulls

Various reports have put the transfer fee at anywhere from $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

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Tim Ream Joins Bolton; Transfer From New York Red Bulls Complete

The long rumored transfer of Tim Ream to Premier League side Bolton is now complete, as the former New York Red Bulls center back passed his physical and agreed to personal terms on Thursday. Financial terms of the deal were not formally announced, but previous reports have pegged the transfer fee at anywhere between $2.5 million and $3.5 million. The contract Ream signed is reportedly for 3.5 years and will pay him £20,000 pounds per week, a significant raise over the roughly $65,000 a year he was making in MLS.

"We are extremely happy for Tim," Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler said in a team release. "He has worked very hard since he joined Major League Soccer and became a Red Bull and we firmly believe that this opportunity will be beneficial to him and the Red Bulls. This was a difficult decision for us as a club, but at the end of the day, we could not turn down this opportunity to help Tim’s development as a player."

The transfer is the most valuable for a defensive player in MLS history and could be just one of several moves involving MLS players heading to England this offseason. Robbie Rodgers has already joined Leeds United, George John is currently on loan at West Ham and Sebastien Le Toux is on trial at Bolton.

In Ream, Bolton saw a ready replacement for the recently departed Gary Cahill. Manager Owen Coyle has indicated he expects Ream to compete for a starting spot in the relatively near future and while Ream won't be particularly highly paid among fellow Premiership centerbacks, a team like Bolton doesn't spend that kind of money just to fill out the roster.

As a player acquired through the SuperDraft with two years of experience, the Red Bulls will receive half of that transfer fee, $650,000 of which can be spent in to the form of allocation money. Considering they still have an open Designated Player spot, the Red Bulls suddenly have a lot of flexibility to fill what are looking to be some significant roster holes.

For more on this move, be sure to check out Bolton blog Lion of Vienna Suite and Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.

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Tim Ream Reportedly Granted Work Permit, Can Join Bolton

The waiting appears to be over: Tim Ream has reportedly received his United Kingdom work permit and will be able to join Bolton (via @landennisbbc). Assuming the reports are true, Ream would leave the New York Red Bulls on a transfer worth somewhere between $2.5-$3.5 million, which would be a record price for a MLS defender. The only MLS players to fetch a higher price were offensive standouts Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

Bolton apparently sees Ream as a direct replacement for Gary Cahill, who recently joined Chelsea. Ream will compete for minutes with the likes of David Wheater and Zat Knight, as Bolton is currently in fight to stave off relegation. Bolton currently sits 17th in the Premiership table, just one point clear of Nos. 18 and 19 Blackburn and Wolverhampton. Wigan, which is currently 20th, is just four points behind Bolton with each team having 16 matches left to play.

For the Red Bulls, this move does not come as a huge shock, but it does highlight a rather significant hole on their backline. If the season were to start today, the starter centerbacks would likely be Stephen Keel and Markus Holgersson. Keel has just 20 starts during his five-year MLS career and Holgersson will be making his MLS debut this year after a successful run in Sweden's top division. The good news is that Ream's transfer should give the Red Bulls enough money to find some more capable talent.

For more on Ream's move, be sure to check out Bolton blog Lion of Vienna Suite and Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.

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Bolton Transfer Rumour: Tim Ream Signing Imminent

Tim Ream is so close to finalizing his transfer to Bolton from the New York Red Bulls that he reportedly cut off his honeymoon early to get the deal done. Bolton manager Owen Coyle seemed quite impressed with Ream's eagerness in comments he made to the Mirror.

"The Reams were going to Tahiti but they knew this might open and went into this move with their eyes wide open. Fair play to them, they came to sunny Bolton instead!

"It spoke volumes for his desire to come on board. He also had other offers from big clubs but chose to come here."

Coyle also told the Mirror that Bolton had agreed to pay £2.5million for the transfer. That would be the equivalent of nearly $4 million or roughly the same amount that Fulham paid for Clint Dempsey back in 2007. Clearly, there's a fair amount of inflation in terms of transfer fees between now and then, but that still seems like an awful lot of money to pay for someone who has never seen regular time with the United States national team and is coming off a season in which he looked downright horrible at times.

Sensical or not, the only thing standing in Ream's way now is the little matter of obtaining a work permit. The decision on his work permit is expected to come on Monday, and it seems Bolton fully expects it to be approved.

For more on Ream's transfer, be sure to check out Bolton blog Lion of Vienna Suite and Red Bulls blog Once a Metro.

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