The Colorado Rapids have ambitious plans to revamp their roster after a second straight disastrous season, and while some of the names being linked to the club are legitimate targets who could be attained, one player linked to the club will not be heading to the Rocky Mountains.
Multiple sources have confirmed Alejandro Bedoya will not be joining the Rapids, despite reports that surfaced on Thursday linking the Nantes midfielder to the Western Conference MLS club. Sources close to Bedoya confirmed to Goal USA that FC Nantes will not sell Bedoya this winter, a reality Rapids technical director Paul Bravo also confirmed to Goal USA. Bravo made it clear the Rapids were fully aware Bedoya would not be available this winter when they traded with Chicago for the top spot in the MLS Player Allocation Order (the mechanism used to assign U.S. national team players and returning transfer sale players within MLS).
"We tried to make it happen but Nantes is not selling" Bravo said on Thursday of the club's interest in Bedoya. "We still feel securing the top spot in the Player Allocation Order is a very significant step for our organization."
According to Bravo, the Rapids still plan to use the top allocation spot to sign someone this winter, though he would not say who the Rapids are targeting. The list of players available for selection through the MLS Allocation Order process includes, among others, U.S. national team stars Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Aron Johannsson and Tim Ream.
Bravo also wouldn't share the status of team discussions with Mexican stars Alan Pulido or Carlos Vela, but sources have confirmed to Goal USA that the Rapids are close to securing the services of Pulido, who currently plays for Greek side Olympiakos. Vela is still a possibility for a winter move to the Rapids, source said, but that acquisition is less certain than the Pulido acquisition because of the sizable transfer fee demands from Vela's club, Real Sociedad.
The Rapids had a busy day at the MLS draft on Thursday, trading away the No. 2 overall pick and pulling off a series of transactions that left the Rapids with a considerable amount of allocation money that Bravo says will help the Rapids in their quest to sign as many as five new players on the international market.
"Our goal is to have our team together for the start of training camp, to have all the pieces together for Pablo to start the season," Bravo told Goal USA. "Our ownership has committed to really improving our team and we have a plan in motion we feel very good about."