TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Report
Guangzhou City(R&F) are close to sign Gustav Svensson, whose contract with Seattle Sounders will expire soon. The Swedish defender played for Guangzhou R&F in 2016 as a linchpin player. Their targets also involve Everaldo (Kashima Antlers) and Guilherme (Göztepe, Turkey). pic.twitter.com/Z9vAbv4Fvr— Titan Sports Plus (@titan_plus) December 26, 2020
The 33-year-old Swede just wrapped up his fourth season with Seattle, where he's become a rock-steady cog for the club since his 2017 arrival. Svensson has started 85 MLS games for the Sounders, scoring four goals and tallying six assists while playing a key role in protecting the back line and using his pinpoint passing to facilitate attacks.
He is out of contract, however, and could be eyeing the next move in a well-traveled career that has seen him play in Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine and China. Svensson spent the 2016 with his reported suitor, Guangzhou R&F, making 28 appearances.
For the Sounders, it would be a big loss, both on the field and in the locker room. Svensson is one of the league's more technically sound midfielders and brings international pedigree with his 30 senior national caps for Sweden and World Cup experience. He's a respected voice on the team, beloved amongst the fan base, and has been a part of some big moments, scoring three career playoff goals, including the game-winner in the 2020 Western Conference Final against Minnesota United and helping Seattle win MLS Cup in 2019.
If Svensson does move on, it would likely mean Seattle would go into 2021 with Cristian Roldan back in the defensive midfield beside Brazilian Designated Player Joao Paulo. Roldan started his career in the deeper-lying role, but has been deployed frequently as Seattle's right winger with Svensson and Joao Paulo as the deep pairing in Brian Schmetzer's first-choice XI.