Gregg Berhalter - Columbus Crew SC - solo shot
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Berhalter laughs off Turkish interest, looks to add Crew SC reinforcements

OBETZ, Ohio -- With the transfer window opening earlier this week, rumors are flying around MLS, and Columbus Crew SC is no exception. A report out of Argentina emerged recently stating central defender Gaston Sauro is looking for a return home.

“I don’t believe that to be the case,” Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter said on Wednesday when asked about this report.

After starting seven of the eight games he has appeared in this season for the Black & Gold, Sauro was ruled out for four to five months after he tore the posterior cruciate ligament in May. On Wednesday he rode a stationary bicycle while watching his team train and told reporters he was making progress.

While Sauro may not be moving, it does not mean Crew SC will stand pat. With plenty of resources at his disposal thanks to the trade of forward Kei Kamara to the New England Revolution, Berhalter called it “highly unlikely” that Columbus would not make a move of some kind.

The Black & Gold have two Designated Player slots, two international spots and up to three open roster spaces if midfielder Emil Larsen departs, as expected.

With a rash of injuries at the club, Berhalter has stated the need for another center back and a forward. He also wanted to address the depth in the midfield, but began that with the addition of former Montreal Impact midfielder Dilly Duka two weeks ago.

In his first two seasons at the helm of Crew SC, Berhalter has proven a knack for midseason signings that can make an impact. Two years ago, Columbus signed Kamara in August, though he did not play until the next season, and followed that last season with the summer additions of Sauro, right back Harrison Afful and winger Cedrick Mabwati, all of whom helped the team make a run to MLS Cup.

There was a preseason link between the Black & Gold and Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, but it now seems the former Manchester United and Chelsea man will remain with French club Monaco. Crew SC have also recently been linked with Ecuadorian forward Jaime Ayoví.

The focus of the rumors has not just been on players, either. An Italian report earlier this week claimed Berhalter, who previously coached abroad with Swedish side Hammarby, could be on the move to one of two Turkish clubs. When asked about this possibility, Berhalter laughed off the notion.

“What’s Turkey? A bird?” he joked.