Matt Besler’s solid performances at the World Cup as caught some eyes in Europe and it’s been reported that clubs in England and Germany are trying to acquire his signature.
The American center back started all four US games in Brazil and excelled alongside Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez. Besler has been impressive since he joined Sporting Kansas City in 2009, but the club’s CEO Robb Heineman doesn’t know if his captain would stay in his hometown.
According to Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star, Heineman said that there’s “enormous interest” from non-MLS teams. The CEO believes Besler could use his strong display on the biggest sporting stage to earn a lucrative contract abroad.
If the American signs a contract, his agent, Eddie Rock, said it would happen “probably within the next 10 days.”
During his appearance on CBS This Morning, Besler didn’t dive into the topic of moving overseas, but states he is happy with his current club.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said, “but right now I’m extremely happy here in the US, and I love the team I play on, Kansas City.”
Despite his love for his hometown team, the 27-year-old might be lured away by the financial benefits European football offers. The former MLS Defender of the Year will only make $200,000 this year and $220,000 next year, which is the final year of his contract.
If he moves to the English Premier League or Bundesliga, his annual salary could triple. McDowell reported that “The average salary for an English Premier League player exceeds $2 million.”
Besler’s charismatic coach Peter Vermes is confident that he won’t lose his captain and fellow US international, Graham Zusi.
“I’d put our club up against the majority of clubs in the world,” Vermes said. “Obviously, we maybe don’t compare in the fact that we don’t have the same pocketbook they do, because of our salary cap. But outside of that: the facilities, the stadium, the game environment, fans, city to live in – this is the best country in the world, the United States, and you’re living in Kansas City. You think about it. It’s a great place.”
And then the final piece that you evaluate when you go somewhere – yeah, maybe I’m going to go somewhere and make some more money, but am I playing on a regular basis? I look at it like this. Why would they want to leave? All their success has been found here. Why do you want to move on if you’re here, you make a good living and you have all that opportunity?”
Even though Vermes has a point about SKC being just as equipped and well-followed as most European teams, the idea of competing against the likes of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben might be too tantalizing for Besler to turn down.
The defender’s agent said, “The biggest factor with a potential move is do they provide a bigger ceiling for Matt’s development as a player? Would playing in the EPL or in the Bundesliga bring him to an even higher level as a player simply because you’re playing against the top players in the world on a daily and weekly basis?”
If the defender decides to move to Europe, do you think he’ll be a regular starter and how long will he last in a highly-competitive league?
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