After a successful World Cup campaign with the United States national team, centre-back Matt Besler is a wanted man.
According to Sam McDowell of The Kansas City Star, professional clubs from around the world are interested in obtaining the Sporting Kansas City player before the start of next season:
Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman acknowledged Thursday that the club has received “enormous interest” from overseas teams wanting to acquire Besler, as well as his Sporting KC teammate Graham Zusi. The offers for Besler — which have come “from different leagues all over the world,” Heineman said — spiked after his highly-rated performance for the United States in the World Cup.
Asked about the chances of Besler transferring to play overseas, Heineman replied, “I’d say there’s a strong possibility that could happen based on the interest that’s out there.”
The 27-year-old player has spent his entire career in the MLS after graduating from Notre Dame in 2008. Since then, he has quickly become one of the top players in America, being voted the best defender in the league in 2012.
Last season, he helped Sporting Kansas City win its first ever MLS Cup.
However, he started gaining the attention of the world as one of the breakout stars in Brazil during the United States' run to the round of 16. The defender started all four of the team's matches and provided strong performances against some of the best attacking players in the world.
During the final appearance in an extra-time loss against Belgium, Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sports noted that Besler could be looking at a move overseas:
I could see Matt Besler getting some attention from European clubs pretty soon. #USA— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) July 1, 2014
Meanwhile, Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated pointed out how mediocre the defender's current salary is in the MLS:
Matt Besler makes just $200,000 a year in MLS. DeAndre Yedlin earns $92,000 a year per MLS Players Union.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 1, 2014
With team CEO Robb Heineman noting that there is a strong possibility of Besler leaving, it seems like the next step is simply figuring out where he will land. Sporting KC beat writer Tate Steinlage of SoccerByIves breaks down the best possibilities:
Sounds like we'll find out about Besler's future within the next 10 days. Three major options appear to be extension, EPL, and Bundesliga.— Tate Steinlage (@SteinlageT) July 3, 2014
While the MLS is growing in both public interest as well as quality, moving to a European league would give Besler an opportunity to face world-class talent on a consistent basis. This would eventually make him a stronger player as he gains experience.
By the next World Cup in 2018, Besler could be a star on the back line for the United States.
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