Rumors have been swirling around Philadelphia Union keeper Andre Blake for about a year now. Could he finally get sold?
According to Transfermarkt, German keeper Benjamin Bellot will be on trial with the Philadelphia Union (warning German article) next week. Bellot, 26, is best known for being the starting keeper for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig. Having been with the club since they were founded in 2009 Bellot was replaced by Marius Müller when the club got promoted. Bellot has since spent his time playing for the Leipzig reserves in the fourth division of German football.
In his last major 2. Bundesliga starts during the 2014/15 season, Bellot registered five clean sheets over 13 starts. While it’s tough to determine how this rate would fare in MLS he’s no slouch and would likely be an upgrade on John McCarthy as the Philadelphia Union second keeper.
The Philadelphia Union also have one international spot available thanks to Eric Ayuk being loaned out. But that’s not the big question here, what’s up with Andre Blake? Blake has had rumors swirling around him for a while now and with the Philadelphia Union mired in a lengthy winless streak, his head could easily be turned by a European offer.
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One would have to think that Bellot, who would be signed on the cheap, would be a contingency plan for if Blake bolts in the summer. If Bellot is serviceable as well, it wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Philadelphia Union to make the sale and use the funds elsewhere on the team.
The Philadelphia Union are going to have to get creative with roster upgrades during the summer and clearing Blake’s salary off of the books would open them up to deal for MLS veterans who may be on the trade block by their respective teams. I’d assume that Blake would fetch a fee between 3-4 million dollars which could go a long way to the club.
Bellot is valued at 150 thousand dollars but if RB Leipzig is allowing him to come on trial in Philadelphia, it could mean that they may allow him to leave on the free. With how long he has been with the club, it wouldn’t be out of the question.
While it would be saddening to see Andre Blake leave the club if the funds are used properly it could spark a resurgence in the team. While this is in early rumor stage and shouldn’t be read into too deeply, the Philadelphia Union wouldn’t be bringing in a keeper on trial if there wasn’t a possibility of Blake being sold.