MICHAEL ADUBATO - Monday, December 18, 2006
Standard Liege head coach Michel Preud'homme has all but admitted defeat in his attempt to hang on to American defender Oguchi Onyewu when the transfer window opens in two weeks.
"I don't think he'll be here in January, but I hope he will be," Preud'homme bluntly told YA. "I think he will move."
"It's a pity for me, but that's life and we knew that before and we have to accept it."
Standard signed the American on loan from French club FC Metz in the summer of 2004, eventually exercising their option and offering him a permanent contract in October of that year.
In the interim, Onyewu has twice been named to the Jupiler League Best XI.
Although Preud'homme earlier admitted that Real Madrid wished to acquire Onyewu this past August, he claims that no club has been in recent touch with Standard.
"We haven't been talking to any teams, not yet. He is doing this by himself. Until now there has been no specific contact."
In addition to the Spanish giants, there has been published interest from several Premiership teams including American-owned Aston Villa, Fulham and Reading, as well as runaway Serie B leaders Juventus.