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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