US striker Findley signs with English Championship side
AMSTERDAM - U.S. forward Robbie Findley is set to join Championship side Nottingham Forest on a two-and-a-half-year deal, pending the result of a January UK work permit hearing.
The 25-year old, who was plucked from Real Salt Lake by the Portland Timbers in last month's Expansion Draft, will be moving on a free transfer when his contract expires next week.
Findley does not meet the automatic UK Home Office approval mark of playing in 75 percent of the U.S. national team's A-matches over the last two years, but his agent reports that Forest manager Billy Davies is banking on the rubber stamp.
"We've decided on an agreement to join Nottingham Forest, pending a work permit," Bill Miles told MLSsoccer.com. "He'll need to go to appeal, and that will happen some time in January."
"The club is very confident that it'll go through. They are building their case."
Findley, who made three starts for the 'Nats at World Cup 2010 in South Africa, is also exuding confidence over the impending work permit hearing. The Arizona native has returned home from England to prepare for a big move.
Should the work permit appeal fizzle, the speedster has a long list of clubs ready to re-submit their offers.
"He's got interest in Mexico, Denmark, Norway and multiple clubs in the UK, meaning Scotland, the Premier League and the Championship," revealed Miles. "He's also had a couple offers from Switzerland and offers from Greece."
Nevertheless, the agent says his client is definitely seeing only Red in his club future at this time.
"He's very excited," stated Miles. "This is exactly what we were looking for: a young club on the rise. With the coaches there, he feels he can learn and develop to reach the next level. Billy Davies has been following him for a while."
Forest, who raised consecutive European Cups back in 1979 and 1980, have not been in the English top flight since 1999. They currently stand eighth in the Championship with games in hand on all the teams above them in the table.
Tellingly, the team has managed just 24 goals in 20 league games heading into Sunday's trip to Middlesbrough. Dexter Blackstock leads the squad with five goals, but the trio of veterans behind him - Dele Adebola, Robert Earnshaw and Nathan Tyson - have struck but once in 43 combined outings.
Findley, who earlier this month had a trial with EPL side Wolverhampton Wanderers, began his professional career with the Los Angeles Galaxy before moving on to win MLS Cup 2009 during four season with Real Salt Lake. In 100 career regular season matches, he bagged 31 goals.