‘I’m not 34, I’m 35’ – USMNT defender Tim Ream confirms response to transfer revelation from Man City boss Pep Guardiola
- Fulham met City at the Etihad in November
- Cottagers suffered a dramatic defeat
- Defender's performance praised by rival boss
WHAT HAPPENED? The Fulham defender was approached by the Catalan coach at the end of a Premier League fixture at the Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2022. There had been fireworks on the field that day, with Erling Haaland converting a 95th-minute penalty for 10-man City that earned them a 2-1 win after Joao Cancelo’s first-half sending off.
United States international defender Ream appeared to have helped the Cottagers to a battling point at one stage, keeping record-setting Haaland quiet in the process, but it was not to be. He was, however, to receive words of encouragement from Guardiola afterwards, with City’s boss telling him that he would have been tempted to make a bid for the commanding centre-half if he were not 34 years of age.
WHAT THEY SAID: Ream pointed out that he was in fact 35, and has told CBS Sports when asked if that is exactly how a surprising post-match discussion played out: “Pretty much. That was my response. I probably could have chosen a better response. After that game he was in a pretty good mood – he must have been, they scored a 92nd-minute penalty to win the game! He was dishing out compliments and I was happy to take one. But a pretty cool story to have in my locker.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Ream has enjoyed a stunning renaissance at Fulham over the course of the last two years, with captaincy duties taken on while helping the Cottagers to the Championship title and a top-half finish in the Premier League – while also starting all four games for his country at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
IN TWO PHOTOS:
WHAT NEXT? Ream did see a broken arm suffered in a return date with Guardiola and City on April 30 bring his 2022-23 campaign to a close, but the USMNT star is tied to a contract in west London through to 2024 and will be back for more next season.