Ream deal in the bag

Wanderers are confident they will be able to cut through the red tape in order to sign Tim Ream by the end of the week.

It is understood the Whites have increased their bid to £2.5million to convince New York Red Bulls to part with the US international, who is due in at the Reebok for a medical in the next 48 hours.

If all goes according to plan, Wanderers will then apply for a work permit – but while the 24-year-old has seven caps for his country, there has been some concern that he had not played in enough competitive games to earn a move to the Premier League.

Non-EU players must have appeared in 75 per cent of their country’s fixtures over a two-year period, but while Ream has been ever-present in Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad, he has appeared in just two Gold Cup matches over the last 12 months.

But sources close to the player are sure a visa will be granted, if only on appeal, and that his dream move to English football can be wrapped up in a matter of days.

Wanderers have been forced to go beyond their starting valuation for the centre-half with Red Bulls so keen to retain his services for the new MLS season.

Arsenal had previously enquired about the Missouri-born defender, who was one of three candidates for the US league’s 2010 Rookie of the Year award. West Brom had also expressed their desire to take him on a six-month loan after a trial at the Hawthorns.

Red Bulls struggled last season but were looking to hold on to Ream, who had two years left on his £40,000 a year deal, until next January.

Wanderers’ interest – co-inciding with Gary Cahill’s departure to Chelsea – presented the perfect scenario, however, and negotiations moved into top gear once the player got married to fiancée, and fellow soccer player, Kristen Sapienza in St Louis last weekend.

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