According to Houston Dynamo president Chris Canetti, the club is close to signing English midfielder Giles Barnes.
Barnes has been in Houston with the club since Saturday and trained Monday and Tuesday. After impressing during the two sessions, talks between the sides picked up Tuesday afternoon and a deal looks to be on the horizon.
“We spent the afternoon with Giles and his agent and would categorize the discussions as being very positive,” Canetti told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Tuesday night. “We’ll talk again later to see if we can finalize an agreement.”
Barnes, 24, was considered a top young prospect in the English system as an Under-19, making 12 appearances with seven goals at that level of international competition. He cut his teeth with Derby County from 2005-08 where he played a role in the Rams earning promotion to the Premiership in 2007. The midfielder made 84 appearances with Derby in a four-year stint with the club, scoring 10 goals and earning a reputation as a playmaker and free-kick specialist.
As a young player Barnes was considered to be an up-and-comer as an English footballing standout. However, injuries to his foot and knee derailed his progress.
Barnes spent the 2008-09 season on loan with Fulham but failed to make an appearance. He signed with West Bromwich Albion in 2010 where he made 23 appearances, including 14 in the EPL, and spent last season with Doncaster Rovers in the English Championship.
While training with the Dynamo, Barnes worked as a central midfielder, showing a creative spark on the ball and dangerous free kick ability. He is expected to remain and train in Houston while a deal is being worked out.
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.