Major League Soccer could be welcoming an English defender into to their ranks in the near future, but not perhaps the one many were expecting.
Reports linking Joleon Lescott with a move to the Portland Timbers have been doing the round recently, but with that move looking to have stalled due to wage issues, the MLS franchise have reportedly shifted their attentions to Liam Ridgewell.
Ridgewell is currently available on a free transfer having seen out his contract with West Bromwich Albion, and could be set to link up with the Portland team after 12 years playing in England.
First, the Express&Star newspaper noted that Ridgewell could be primed for a move to the US, and then the 29-year-old was reportedly spotted in Timber owner Merritt Paulson's Providence Park suite on Wednesday.
It remains unclear as to what sort of offer the Timbers would be willing to make to entice the former Aston Villa, and Birmingham City defender but it is believed Ridgewell would not become one of the Timbers' designated players.
The defender has made 267 appearances in the English Premier League and would offer the Timbers an experienced option to help their leaky defence. The Portland team has so far conceded 27 goals in just 16 games in the MLS Western Conference.
Furthermore, the recent trade of defender Futty Danso and the inconsistent form of Rauwshan McKenzie means that further options in that department are becoming a necessity.
And with Ridgewell currently holding free agent status he would be free to link up with the team as soon as possible rather than having to wait until the summer transfer window officially opens.
Timbers' head coach Caleb Porter only further added to the speculation, as he added fuel to the fire recently when he revealed to the media that an unnamed player was unavailable to play after of their Wednesday evening game against FC Dallas.
Timbers fans would of course probably rather Joleon Lescott arrived in Portland, but with his high wage demands and his subsequent designated player status, that may simply not be possible for the franchise.
Bringing in Ridgewell may not be quite the marquee signing they were hoping for but he has proved down the years playing in the top flight in England that he is a reliable option.
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