Sporting Kansas City received and rejected offers from two Serie A clubs for Gianluca Busio this winter, sources tell MLSsoccer.com. A number of European clubs from Italy, Germany and the Netherlands also reached out about Busio this offseason, the sources added.
Ahead of the 2020 season, Sporting KC rejected a $4 million bid from Fiorentina, as first reported by ESPN's Taylor Twellman. While it isn't clear which two clubs saw offers rejected this winter, a source says the likes of Fiorentina, Sassuolo and Parma are still involved in talks, as well as one of the top clubs in the Netherlands.
Busio, 18, has long been the subject of European interest after breaking through with SKC in 2018 at age 16 and has excelled at various US youth national teams. He represented his country at the 2019 U-17 World Cup, wearing the captain's armband in one match and playing every minute of the United States' involvement. Busio has made 49 appearances for SKC in MLS, growing in importance to Peter Vermes' side every year. He became the youngest player in MLS history to score and assist in the same MLS Cup Playoff match last season.
A natural No. 10, Busio is an extremely versatile player. He has played a more box-to-box role at SKC, as well as defensive midfield at times, and even started the club's opening 2021 match at center forward as a false nine. He has also featured some as a winger for US youth national teams.
Busio has an Italian passport, meaning he wouldn't have to worry about work permit rules or occupy an international spot in most leagues. That is particularly useful in Italy, where clubs are restricted to the number of non-EU players they can sign and register to their squad every year.
Busio is still playing under his first Homegrown contract, signed at age 15. SKC have team options through the 2022 season.