December has arrived and the transfer mill is beginning to gear up. A report from ESPNFC this morning tabbed the Fire as a suitor for Legia Warsaw striker Nemanja Nikolic. Sources have indicated to Fire Confidential that the club is indeed interested in Nikolic and is pursuing a move. As indicated in the original report, there are other teams interested in Nikolic as well. Hull City has been a rumored destination since summer.
Nikolic is under contract until 2018 at Legia Warsaw in Poland's first division where he has scored 50 goals in 83 appearances across all competitions over two seasons. Any move would require a transfer fee and he would potentially fill one of the Fire's two available Designated Player spots. He'll turn 29 on December 31.
At 5'-11" he isn't a big target man but he is a center forward who appears to have the skill set that would be compatible with Michael de Leeuw playing as a shadow striker in a 4-2-3-1. The deal isn't done yet however.
As for the Fire's other big DP chase, league and team discussions continue with Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German midfielder made a 4-minute appearance for Manchester United yesterday but his limited return to the pitch won't change the plan to continue pursuit. The matter of Schweinsteiger's existing contract buy-out still needs to be resolved and there could be a transfer fee involved there as well. If he does sign with MLS, his total cost will exceed the $16.5m/3-year deal initially reported.
The Fire will still have Targeted Allocation Money to spend on other players even if both top DP targets are signed. The next ten days should yield even more news with the Fire expected to be active in the league transfer department ahead of the Expansion Draft.