KANSAS CITY, Mo. – In shooting down the latest transfer rumors swirling around one of his stars, Sporting Kansas City manager and technical director Peter Vermes had a blunt message for any other clubs trying to buy someone off his roster:
This isn't soccer's discount store any more.
“I'm not wasting time with these clubs that think that they can come and bargain-basement shop here and get guys for free,” Vermes said on Thursday, during the club's weekly news conference ahead of Sunday's away date with Vancouver (8 pm ET, MLS Live in US, TSN/RDS2 in Canada). “Because our guys are just as valuable as so many players around the world, and sometimes even more valuable. And we're not just going to give guys away for little money.”
Britain's Sky Sports reported on Wednesday that an English club, newly-promoted Championship side Brentford FC, were making a run at All-Star forward Dom Dwyer during the summer transfer window. But on Thursday, Vermes dismissed that talk out of hand.
“Is there anything to talk about on that? Nothing,” he said. “Absolutely nothing. I've said this before – and it's not just him, it's a lot of our players – we get offers on our players every day. But there's offers that are worth discussing, and there's ones that aren't. This one wasn't worth discussing.”
Sporting typically don't discuss serious deals – like the one Sporting Clube de Portugal made for midfielder Uri Rosell earlier this season, and Middlesbrough's purchase of forward Kei Kamara last season – until they're announced.
“There's so many that just get pushed aside, because they're not – I don't want to say they're not legitimate,” Vermes said. “It's just that our position here is that over the years in MLS, MLS has been a league that has waited for other clubs to sort of make offers, and I don't believe in that. I think we need to value our players ourselves. We have our own market, what we think they're worth. And once you tell another team what they're worth, then either they're in or they're out. There's no in between any more.”
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That was Sporting's approach in selling both Kamara and Rosell, Vermes said, with the latter's purchase deal including a percentage of any future sale from the Portuguese club.
“If you look at us over the last year and how we've sold a couple of guys, people know that we're not playing around,” he said. “If we're going to do something, we're going to do it, and we're going to do it because it's beneficial to the player, but also to the club. And the players know that as well, and the numbers aren't going to be chicken feed. It's going to be real dollars.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.