Chicago Fire chief responds to Stoke City's reported interest in David Accam

The 25-year-old Ghanaian forward has recently been linked with a January move to the Potters after training with the club during the MLS offseason.

Chicago Fire general manager Nelson Rodriguez has rubbished suggestions that forward David Accam could join Stoke City on a permanent deal during the January transfer window.

Accam, 25, has recently been training with Stoke in order to stay in shape during the MLS offseason, but having made a positive impression, the likes of the Daily Mail have reported that the Premier League club are now weighing up a move for his signature.

However, speaking to Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Rodriguez stressed that the Fire have received no offers for the Ghana international and expected him to be back for the 2016 season.

“David is a key part of our team and a key part of our plans for 2016 and beyond,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t really understand where the rumours have originated or why they even exist. We’ve had no discussions at all with Stoke or any other team for the transfer of his services.

“To David’s credit he wants to have a bigger and better season than he did last year. He thought that getting a head start on training would put him in a better position to achieve that goal of an improved season in 2016 and we were pleased to accommodate his request.”

At the same time, Rodriguez did not rule out the prospect of Accam joining the Potters on a short-term loan this winter, although he did label such a deal as “unrealistic” given the Fire’s recent head coaching change which saw former Atletico Madrid midfielder Veljko Paunovic take charge of the club.

“I’ve learned never to say, or rarely to say, never, but it would be extremely difficult and it is very hard to foresee a scenario that would have us agree to a loan at the start of our season,” Rodriguez added. “With the new coaching staff and a new year, preseason becomes so much more important, particularly as our goals and objectives and being a team that is quite adaptable to circumstance is going to require us to have a team together quite a lot. I think it’s unrealistic.”

Accam originally joined the Fire from Swedish side Helsingborgs as a Designated Player in December 2014 and went on to score 10 goals in 25 appearances during his first season in MLS.

Chicago themselves endured a dismal campaign, finishing bottom of the Eastern Conference with a league-worst 30 points, but the five-time capped Ghanaian stood out as one of the few bright spots for the club thanks to his breathtaking speed and impressive dribbling skills.

The pacey attacker, who can play out wide or through the middle, was also reportedly a target for a number of Premier League and Championship teams before heading to MLS [h/t Sky Sports], but work permit issues are believed to have prevented a potential move.

Nevertheless, he does in fact have previous experience of English football, having turned out for non-league sides Ledbury Town and Evesham United while studying at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, between 2009 and 2011.

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