Teams in Israel have been pursuing D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum for some time now, and earlier today Paul Tenorio not only mentioned that Maccabi Tel Aviv continues their interest, but he also reported that Germany Bundesliga club Werder Bremen apparently has Birnbaum on the radar.
Bremen’s name on the radar is new for Birnbaum but Die Werderaner have pursued MLS players before, as they attempted to sign Seattle Sounders rookie Jordan Morris to a contract in January, and already have United States forward Aron Johannson on the roster. Bremen finished 13th in last season’s Bundesliga campaign and are off to a slow start this year, sitting at the bottom of the table, winless in their first 4 matches.
As Tel Aviv appear to have set a jumping off price of Birnbaum of $1.5 million for a transfer fee, D.C. finds themselves potentially wondering how strong this interest is and how high either (or another) of these teams is willing to pay for a transfer. Birnbaum’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2017; the team will presumably make a strong push to re-sign the center back this offseason, but if an agreement can't be reached they will probably have to sell him this winter, rather than losing him on a free like Perry Kitchen.
While the 2017 offseason may prove to be interesting, this coming offseason could be just as impactful, perhaps more so, for the Black-and-Red.