Initial Middlesbrough interest in Tim Ream is dead, says agent

David Rogers

The transfer window has not yet officially opened but Bolton Wanderers and other clubs are already getting work done. The Trotters have brought a few players in (some officially, some rumored) and have sent some players out. A new report out of the Daily Mirror suggests that the Trotters could send another player away, this time in the shape of Tim Ream. The potential suitors, per the paper, are fellow Championship club Middlesbrough.

According to the report, Tony Mowbray's Boro side are showing interest in bringing the Bolton Wanderers defender to the Riverside this summer. Whether there's anything real in it or this is just a rumor with paper talk behind it remains to be seen.

Middlesbrough were considered promotion contenders for much of last season after spending much of the campaign's first half in the automatic promotion places. A weak second half of the season saw them win just three of their final 21 games, losing all but six in that stretch. Boro did not have much consistency at the back with defender George Friend starting most of their matches and captain Rhys Williams starting slightly less than half. Veteran Jonathan Woodgate played only 24 times in the league. Boro have a number of available options in that position but many are inexperienced or aging.

Tim Ream moved to Bolton in January of 2012 and has appeared 28 times over the course of 18 months for the Trotters in league play. Over the course of last season, he appeared just 15 times for Bolton Wanderers after falling behind Zat Knight and Craig Dawson in the pecking order. He was, however, picked a number of times in the second half of the season (on either side of Craig Dawson's loan spell) to partner Zat Knight, thanks to the injury that Matt Mills suffered in December.

Bolton Wanderers paid a fee in the neighborhood of $2.5 million (about £1.6 million) to purchase Ream from MLS and Red Bull New York. We argued that Ream should have a chance to fight for a spot this preseason.

UPDATE:

MLSSoccer.com's Greg Seltzer has posted on his No Short Corners blog that the Mirror's story is just paper talk. Per his blog (found here):

The Mirror print edition is claiming that Middlesbrough are in talks over Bolton defender Tim Ream. While I can verify that Boro did somewhat recently register interest in the American, there is no truth to this particular newspaper story, currently buzzing its way around Twitter and the related club message boards. Full MLSS report on the way.

UPDATE 2:

Seltzer published a further update on Major League Soccer's website with a quote from Tim Ream's agent, Patrick McCabe.

"There is nothing to report here. Tim is away on holiday at the moment. He is settled at Bolton and looking forward to the preseason."

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