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Rumor: Nemanja Matic to the Chicago Fire?

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The list of rumored transfer targets is growing daily

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

With three designated player spots open, and the European January transfer window underway, the list of players linked with the Chicago Fire is expanding daily.

So, are any of these rumors true? Well, it’s safe to say the Fire are busy narrowing down who might want to come play here this year, so it makes sense they’ve at least inquired about some of these players. As for these stars, they may well want to come play in America. Or, their agents are just leaking rumors in an attempt to gain leverage to secure a new deal at their current clubs.

Let’s take a look at some of the names out there:

Nemanja Matic

This one popped yesterday on Twitter from @meninred97. This is the account that first leaked the new logo, so it could very well have some truth to it. Matic played yesterday for Manchester United against Arsenal, and seemed solid but perhaps a bit slow. He’s 31, he would almost certainly be a designated player, and he’s smart enough and young enough he could actually help the Fire boss the midfield.

Juan Mata

The little Spaniard playmaker only logged nine minutes for Manchester United against Arsenal, and he hasn’t logged a goal or an assist this season in 12 matches. Like Matic he’s only 31, so maybe he could find a career resurgence in MLS. If anything, Mata has a great personality, so the Fire’s marketing team would probably love working with him.

Ashley Young

Yes, it’s another Manchester United player rumored to becoming here! Young, Manchester United’s captain, didn’t get off the bench yesterday against the Gunners. He’s 34, so a little bit older, with 12 appearances this season. The Fire could use depth at fullback, and he’s a great leader, but this one doesn’t seem to make sense—as a DP deal, at least.

Lukas Podolski

We mentioned this one a couple days ago. A German outlet reported the Fire, Flamengo and Monterrey were all interested in signing the German forward. He’s currently playing in Japan, and this one feels a bit like Podolski’s agent trying to gain some leverage over his current club. He’s still bagging goals for Vissel Kobe, so if he does come here, maybe he’d have something left in the tank.

You know what’s weird about all of these names? They’re all former teammates of Bastian Schweinsteiger. Hmm.

So what do you think, Fire fans? Are you excited by any of these names? Is there another Robbie Keane or David Villa in this group—an aging star who can have a huge career in MLS? Or, is the club better off finding lesser-name, younger stars with more potential for our DP slots? Is there another name you’d like to see? Let us know in the comments.