CLINT WADDELL - Thursday, July 21, 2011
The midfield duo of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones has become the norm on the national team. But the two seemed to be unwanted cogs in their club teams, with various reports in the German media pointing towards a parting of ways.
Both started last season in Germany, took their talents to England (both, on loan) for the second half of the season and have now returned to their parent clubs when the purchase options weren't extended.
In Bradley's case, it was new coach Alex McLeish who decided that the American midfielder wouldn't be calling Aston Villa home - and that, after all signs had pointed to an extension. Bradley only has a year left on his contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach - and media outlets in Germany don't believe he will be signing on for an additional year or two.
But the fact remains: Bradley wants out and is for sale. Club officials have stated in several interviews that IF Bradley was to be sold, THEN they would look for a noteworthy addition for offensive midfield. Rumors have pointed around Europe, from Paris St. Germain to Hamburg and to Genoa. Bradley's Italian manager finally confirmed interest from an Italian club - but it was Bologna. But if he does stay with the Foals - will Bradley be banned from the line-up and just have to sit out his last year?
Jermaine Jones might have an even more difficult time. The tabloid press (Bild) has stated that the midfielder is persona non grata with new Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick, who tends to stay away from "troublemakers" and yellow-card getters. And Jones has had a history of letting his opinion be known - on and off the field.
He also has a huge contract - a guaranteed four million per season until 2014. That is 12 million Euros that Schalke wants to get off the books. The only problem is finding a club that will want to take on those wages - and all signs seem to be pointing to- Russia? That's what the tabloids would like to have you believe. Jones will return to team training on July 24.
Only time will tell if these two move on to greener pastures - or left out in the cold.