Fulham, Sunderland show interest, but decision yet to be made on future of Sporting KC's Matt Besler
Foreign clubs' interest in Matt Besler has ramped up in recent weeks, and a decision on his future is looming.
Coming off an impressive World Cup campaign with the US national team, Besler has become a hot commodity on the transfer market ahead of the upcoming European season. The left-footed center back has been linked with a number of teams in recent weeks, but he revealed two of the more interested parties in a wide-ranging interview with Kansas City sports radio station 810 WHB on Wednesday morning.
"I know Fulham has offered Sporting Kansas City, I know that Sunderland put in an offer or is putting in an offer, but the whole Monday [timeline for a decision] is false," said Besler, referring to a recent report.
"We're trying to get something done as soon as possible, because it's just a situation that you need to get resolved as quickly as you can, because I want to be staying in Kansas City if I'm going to stay. If they're going to sell me to a different team, I want to know that as soon as possible so I can just know that and prepare for that."
As part of his decision-making process, the 27-year-old has been in constant contact with US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in recent weeks to discuss any potential move away from Sporting KC. But Besler insisted on Wednesday he feels no real pressure to move away from his hometown club.
"Of course, [Klinsmann] wants his players to go over and try and make it and develop and eventually play for an Arsenal or a Manchester United," said Besler, who has spent his entire five-and-a-half years as a pro with Sporting KC. "But the thing to realize is he doesn't want a player to just go over to Europe and go to a team at the bottom of the standings, and you're sitting on the bench and you're not happy and you don't like the coach. He doesn't just want that.
"[Klinsmann] wants a player to go over there and succeed, and so what's really important to me is if I'm ever going to go anywhere, it's got to be the right situation. I'm not just going to go over there just because it's Europe and just because it's a lot of money, and Jurgen has told me that. He understands that Kansas City is a very, very good club and it's a very good situation and I've developed just fine over here. I would say he hasn't put any pressure on me."
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An Overland Park, Kan., native, Besler has stated in the past that he would not mind spending the remainder of his career with Sporting KC. It is there where he earned the 2012 MLS Defender of the Year award, won the 2012 US Open Cup, lifted the 2013 MLS Cup, and became one of the league's best defenders en route to playing in his first World Cup this year.
Besler has witnessed first-hand the growth of MLS during his time in the league and believes that passing up on a move to Europe (as he did in 2012, when he skipped out on trial offers from Rangers, Southampton and Birmingham City) would not be detrimental to his development. In fact, he believes MLS could be a league that is just as good as many of its European counterparts in a few years' time.
"I also feel like, in five years, MLS has the potential to be on par with some of these leagues," said Besler. "In five years, you might not be talking about players going over to Europe. You might be talking about MLS being right on par, so why would you need to go over there? I believe that can happen, too."