Speaking on the Timbers Talk radio show (95.5 The Game), Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson addressed the ongoing saga of English full back Kerrea Gilbert, casting doubt over the previously-agreed move.
Gilbert, an Arsenal youth product, was set to join the Timbers in Dec. 2010 after agreeing to terms, but visa issues have prevented his arrival in the U.S. Gilbert allegedly has some alcohol-related incidents on his record that have so far kept him out of the country.
While the incidents initially didn't faze the team and Gilbert received a letter of recommendation from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, new incidents that arose during the visa process dissuaded Paulson from the player.
“At that point, he seemed like he guy we wouldn’t want anyway,” Paulson said.
Nonetheless, Gilbert has maintained that the information is false and the Timbers are trying to corroborate the evidence.
When asked of the possiblity of Gilbert becoming a Timbers player, Paulson replied, “I would have said ‘No way’ if you asked me two weeks ago. It’s all coming to a head this week. With this new information there’s still a chance we get him. But we need validation one way or another on the history, and we take character very seriously.”
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