On Thursday the New York Red Bulls will unveil Thierry Henry as the club's second designated player. Not content with that, the club is openly pursuing a third DP.
Henry will likely partner current designated player and captain Juan Pablo Angel in attack. According to Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler, the third DP would slot into the midfield.
"There is one player coming first, but I said before the World Cup that I think there's gonna be two [additional designated players]," Soler told the assembled media before the Red Bulls ground out a 0-0 draw with D.C. United. "I think it's gonna be two. We hope that the first player will be attacking, I'm quite sure about that, and the second one, I wouldn't rule it out. But I'm not sure about that.
"The second one is a player for the midfield. He can play in various positions."
Soler and the Red Bulls still won't name Henry specifically, though by now it's something of an open secret. The identity of the second player is less clear. Soler refused to deny that the second potential signing has lined up alongside Henry nor that current New York head coach Hans Bake has coached him.
Those answers add credence to the rumors that the Red Bulls are pursuing Rafael Marquez. Henry and Marquez both played for Barcelona the last two seasons and Backe coached the Mexican captain during his brief spell as Sven Goran Eriksson's assistant while in charge of El Tri.
That's still speculation. What's concrete is that New York is making progress toward signing the player.
"I think that it's more than 50-50," Soler said of the chances the third designated player comes. "We are far in the negotiations so we're more or less ready to sign, but nothing is signed [yet]. He's not out of contract, but we aren't in the position to pay for players, so the player will negotiate the transfer clause to get out of contract."
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