Trelleborg to give American trial
Trelleborgs FF appears set to give American forward J.C. Banks a shot at making the team. Banks, a senior at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, led his team in scoring with 12 goals. Listed as a midfielfer in the Phoenix media guide, banks is looking to latch on as a striker.
“I would really like to play in Sweden,” he told Värmlands Folkblad. “I want to play in a good system and everyone says how good it is to play here.”
The 21-year-old from Milwaukee, Wisc., has already impressed the staff at Trelleborg with his speed and attacking style.
“He is an interesting type of player,” said Trelleborg assistant coach Alf Westerberg. “We’re getting a look at all his qualities.”
Tug-of-war over Arneng continues
The fight to sign former Djurgården midfielder Johan Arneng heated up between Norrköping and Syrianska.
The 28-year-old was a major cog in DIF’s title-winning teams in the early 2000s. He left for Norwegian side Ålesund in 2008 and now is a free agent. Norrköping tendered him an offer Nov. 28 and believed it was enough to lure him back to Sweden.
Now, however, Syrianska has stepped up with an offer of its own and team president Andreas Temiz said he thinks his club can rope Arneng. The two met on Dec. 3.
“We have made an offer and now we must wait and see,” Temiz said.
The two sides agreed not to communicate until Arneng reached a decision.
“So long as we don’t hear from him, we know we are in the running,” Temiz said.
Gerzic forces Örebro to open wallet
After losing talented youngsters Astrit Ajdarevic and Eric Bassombeng to Allsvenskan rivals Norrkoping and GAIS, respectively, management at Örebro are ready to meet the salary demands of Nordin Gerzic.
The 27-year-old midfielder was a major reason why ÖSK finished third in 2010, its best-ever place in the modern era, scoring five goals and notching three assists. Gerzic grew uneasy as he watched a flood of talent apparently ready to bolt from the club. In addition to Ajdarevic and Bassombeng, Patrik Antonnen decided to test the free agent waters and declined to re-sign with club, Roni Porokara moved to a Belgian club and Paulinho Guara is set to return to South Korea.
Gerzic demanded Örebro step up and show it would not only remain competitive in Sweden, but in Europe where the team is to play in the Europa League, the former UEFA Cup. ÖSK took a step toward its future by tying Markus Astvald to a long-term contract. Now, it is ready to deal with Gerzic.
“I am confident he will stay,” said team boss Lennart Sjögren. “We will do what it takes to remain a top-4 team and to compete in Europe. I am not worried at all.”
The club would not discuss terms of any new contract for Gerzic.
Helsingborg taking offers on Ekstrand
Under-21 star Joel Ekstrand is all but set to move to Italy as Serie A side Udinese continues to pursue the defender.
HIF's sporting director Jesper Jansson confirmed there is a concrete interest from a club.
“I will not comment on which club it is about, more than that there is an interest in Joel,” he said. “Sometimes rumors are planted by agents and others, but this one is real.”
Jansson knows Helsigborg cannot compete with larger teams financially. However, he intends to make any suitor for Ekstrand pay dearly for his signature. Udinese reportedly is ready offer 20 million crowns ($2.9 million) but Helsingborg rates Ekstrand even higher.
“We value Joel very highly and we will not just sell any player,” Jansson said. “We have a good team and we'll be playing in Europe. Should we go forward with the sale, we will get paid well.”
Swedish clubs hail move of transfer window
After years of watching European clubs tear their teams apart, the top four finishers in the 2010 Allsvenskan all hailed a decision by the Svenska Fotbollforbundet to move the transfer window from July to August.
The decision puts the Swedish transfer season in line with that in the rest of the Europe. When UEFA adopted the idea of a limited time for transfers, Sweden decided to hold its transfer season in July and August, a month before other European clubs. The open season coincided with either the midsummer break or with breaks for either the European Championships or the World Cup. Any Swedish clubs complained it meant teams lost players without being able to replace them as other European teams didn’t hold their transfer season until August.
“A great decision,” said Malmo FF president Pelle Svensson. “Previously, it was wholly wrong and we have risked losing players without being able to replace them.”
The move came at the request of the so-called Sporting Group – representatives of Malmö, Helsingborg, Örerbo and ELfborg, which finished from first to fourth in the league – and the SvFF. The shift, however, is not permanent. The federation said it plans to revisit the timing of the window each year with the teams that finish in the top four spots in the Allsvenskan. Those teams all earn berths in European play and have the most to lose from an unequal transfer season.
by Chipp Reid