Shortly after word spread of a deal that would send Tim Cahill to the New York Red Bulls for about £1 million, Everton confirmed the transfer with a statement on their official website. It reads:
Everton have agreed with Major League Soccer (MLS) that Tim Cahill can be transferred to the New York Red Bulls.
Tim, 32, will move to the Red Bulls for a nominal fee, subject to agreeing personal terms and passing a medical. He will travel to the US in the next few days.
He has played 278 times for Everton since his move from Millwall in 2004, scoring 68 goals. An Australian international with 55 caps, Tim has scored 24 times for his country.
With that official confirmation, it seemed to be a done deal and the Australian was the latest high-profile addition to New York's squad. But then the Red Bulls put out an official statement of their own that just made things a bit weird. From the Red Bulls' official website:
"We are aware of Everton's statement regarding midfielder Tim Cahill and our club. However, we have no comment at this time regarding him or any other non-New York player."
Though the aim is probably to wait until Cahill agrees to personal terms with MLS and passes his medical before they declare that Tim Cahill Red Bulls shirts are now on sale, to say that they have no comment at all (other than to call Cahill a "non-New York player") seems a strange move following Everton's confirmation.
Assuming Cahill is eventually recognized as a New York player by the Red Bulls, it should be a decent piece of business for both sides. Everton sell a 32-year-old who only cost £1.5 million in 2004 for £1 million in 2012 just as his production has started to take a downturn (he had three goals in 41 matches last season, his lowest total eight seasons with the club), while also freeing up space in their extremely tight wage budget (reportedly for Steven Pienaar). And New York get an exceptional Premier League midfielder with name recognition who might make them clear favorites for the MLS Cup. Once he regains his fitness after going from offseason to midseason right away, of course.