CHAD WINGER - Wednesday, August 8, 2007
USMNT midfielder Benny Feilhaber has one foot in the Premiership, as Hamburg and newly-promoted Derby County are close to a reported €1.5 million deal to send the American to England.
"We have made contact with Derby," Hamburg's Jörn Wolf told Yanks Abroad early Wednesday. "Nothing is final, but we think something will be done before the weekend, before the season starts."
"Benny is training with us, for how much longer, I don't know."
Feilhaber, who does not hold a European Union passport despite being Austria-eligible through his grandfather, does not have the required 75% of "A" internationals as required by the UK Home Office, and would need to win an appeal in order to join the Rams.
"[This season] I do not want to participate in Regionalliga games," Feilhaber had commented to YA on Monday. "There are still other team possibilities."
"My goals are to be a regular first team player."
Derby County are no strangers to American players, having reached a deal with MLS last season over for the transfer of now-1860 Munich striker Josh Wolff before the UK authorities denied the needed permit.
Earlier in the summer, Derby reportedly had a bid for Wizards' forward Eddie Johnson denied.