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Since landing Wayne Rooney, D.C. United is being linked with some interesting rumors

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Now, are any of those links credible?

By now we all know about D.C. United signing Wayne Rooney and his introduction to the city and his new teammates. Like most significant events in the class of an internationally recognized signing, things tend to appear to get caught up in its wake. Your team’s name is on the minds of folks who previously weren’t thinking of you, in ways good and bad.

That brings us to transfer rumors. When a player from a given country gets signed, there is a tendency to latch other names onto the signing team, perhaps to stir up some business, or maybe even simply to keep a player’s name in the press. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be an actual signing; when D.C. were purported to be in for a look at striker Gabriel Torres two years ago, days later goalkeeper Jaime Penedo denied some sort of interest by the Black-and-Red. Never mind that said interest did not appear to exist; that’s just the cycle we’re talking about.

So let’s get to DC rumors. Since Wayne Rooney, there have been three names come up, including two in the last week:

  • Angel Rangel: Days after word of Rooney talks resurfacing, the Swansea City defender’s name popped up from a writer for The Sun (Steven Goff confirmed this interest). While Rangel does fit a need at fullback, there are two strikes against this rumor: Rangel turns 36 in November and if his social media is any indication, he doesn’t appear to be getting ready to come here anytime soon:
  • Jefferson Montero: I had no inside information about Montero when I had him on my list for possible Swans players to come over to MLS and ply their trade with United. So, seeing Montero’s name and D.C. in the same sentence in a Futbol Ecuador piece got my attention, since Montero’s loan with Emelec came to an end on July 1st.

There are some things to give us pause though: first of all, there’s a lack of sourcing or detail. That includes a quote from anyone: none from Montero, none from the teams involved, none from representatives of any party. Finally, in the case of Swansea rumors, it’s been done before. A U-23 midfielder (and Scotland international) named George Byers was supposedly linked to a move with D.C. earlier this year. Upon further examination, this article was citing a casual throwaway link of United and Byers in a Sunday print edition of an English newspaper (whose name rhymes with ‘fun’) near the end of the transfer deadline.

None of this is to say that Montero to D.C. would or is happening; it’s just that for me, some hurdles have to be cleared on this rumor before even looking at the permutations it would have on D.C.’s roster.

  • Leighton Baines: Wazza signing with D.C. would only make it natural from a ‘teammate to join him’ narrative perspective, and the Express decided to put Baines’ name out there for a fullback move. Baines turns 34 in December and while fullback is a position of need, having to compete with teams in the Western Conference (LA Galaxy and LAFC) and in the East (Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union) reduces United’s chances of a successful pursuit. More importantly, we’re again looking at a rumor with no sourcing to speak of (unless reasons why it should happen are sources, which...) along with no quotes from any involved party.

To reiterate, this is not to say that one or all of these moves are impossible. They could happen, and they could work beyond our wildest dreams. I’m simply saying that when it comes to player rumors and D.C. United, exercising a little bit of individual vetting or applying some pragmatism towards the question of credibility will help your fellow fan.

Besides, given that D.C. is building and/or opening two stadiums, a training facility, a business space next to Audi Field (which will be christened by Rooney et al this week) and going through an ownership change, there’s going to be enough going on without having a random nonsensical “Harry Kane to D.C.” rumor to deal with. Remember, this is a team that (Rooney aside) prefers to work in the background to get deals done.

Stay frosty friends, for we’ve just began to enter some crazy times.