We all knew it might come to this. Matt Besler's rock solid performance at the World Cup has brought "enormous interest" in the Sporting Kansas City defender from teams in England and Germany, said Besler's agent Eddie Rock to the Kansas City Star.
Rock also told the Star that if a transfer were to happen, it would probably be within the next ten days. That means that there's a large possibility that Besler has played his last game in a Sporting Kansas City uniform. Read the full Star article here, it's chock full of great quotes about this situation.
According to the agent, it has come down to three options: 1) Sign a new contract with Sporting Kansas City and become a MLS lifer 2) Accept a transfer to the English Premier League or 3) Accept a transfer to the Bundesliga.
The salary appeal of a European squad is evident. Besler could conservatively earn a couple million dollars on salary alone, where in MLS his current salary is just north of $200,000. There's also an appeal of getting better as a defender, since his status on the United States National Team does not look to be dwindling anytime soon.
This is also a "now or never" type deal for Besler. At 27 years old and coming off his World Cup performance, the demand for Besler is never going to be higher. If he is going to make a move abroad, this is the time to do it.
I'm not going to pretend to know what is going on in Matt Besler's head right now. He's helped anchor one of the best defenses in America for the past several years, won MLS Defender of the Year, Won the US Open Cup and MLS Cup and has become captain of his hometown team. He's accomplished almost everything a player can in Major League Soccer, and he's only in his sixth year in the league.
Should he go abroad, he'll still be a Sporting Kansas City legend for a long time. His presence on the national team and visibility on the US Open Cup and MLS Cup teams will give him fan favorite status possibly surpassing Kei Kamara.
Should he stay, however, he will climb to the top of Sporting Kansas City's record list. Rock said in the KC star article that, should Besler sign with Sporting KC, he would aim to be a one-club player that finishes on the top of Sporting KC's appearances and longest captaincy list. As a player who grew up in the Kansas City era, played high school soccer at Blue Valley West and could potentially be a one-club player, Besler could remain as a face for this club for many years to come.
The ten day deadline is not set in stone. It is fluid and a transfer could come at any time. Rock's quotes, however, give us a frame for when to expect a transfer. There's also the possibility of Besler signing an extension, though the former is probably likelier. One of the three aforementioned possibilities is probably coming in the next ten days.
This is the Besler Transfer Crisis. See you on the other side.