Colorado Rapids rising star Cole Bassett will remain with the club as the European transfer window closes Tuesday night, but it wasn't due to a lack of interest or offers.
The Rapids and Portuguese side SL Benfica had agreed to the framework of a club-record transfer for Bassett, but the homegrown midfielder turned a deal down in order to stay in Colorado through the end of the MLS season, chase a trophy with his hometown club and revisit his future in the winter, sources tell MLSsoccer.com.
Sources say the proposed deal would have eclipsed the Rapids' club-record deal to transfer left back Sam Vines to Royal Antwerp, which happened earlier this summer in a move that could reach $2 million with incentives.
Benfica were among a handful of clubs that hoped to acquire Bassett during this transfer window, including Anderlecht, Vitesse and two German second-tier clubs. MLSsoccer.com previously reported that the Rapids rejected offers earlier this summer. Benfica, among others, are expected to continue negotiations over Bassett in the winter, when it's likely he'll make a move to Europe.
Bassett, a product of the Rapids' academy, wants to win silverware with his hometown club before making a move to Europe. The Rapids sit third in the Western Conference standings with 38 points after 20 matches. Robin Fraser's side, who just added MLS All-Star midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye in a blockbuster trade earlier this summer, are well-primed to make a run in the playoffs.
Benfica have finished in the Primeira Liga's top three every year since 2008-09 and won the league in 2018-19. Their squad is led by the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Haris Seferovic, Rafa Silva and Nicolas Otamendi.
Bassett, who turned 20 last month, is an all-action, energetic midfielder. He has appeared in all 20 of Colorado's matches this year, starting 17. Bassett has a knack for providing goals from a box-to-box midfield role, with 11 goals and nine assists in 60 MLS appearances (46 starts) after making his debut in 2018.
Bassett signed his first professional contract in 2018 after quickly ascending from the Rapids' U-17 side to their U-23 squad. He was voted No. 7 on MLSsoccer.com's 22 Under 22 Rankings last year, a list that included the likes of Brenden Aaronson (now Red Bull Salzburg), Mark McKenzie (now Genk) and Bryan Reynolds (now AS Roma).