On the heels of hearing that Peter Vermes is targeting a central midfielder, some rumors surfaced about a couple different players who may fill that role. Aleksandar Kovacevic and Alex Bergantinos are both being linked to Sporting Kansas City. Let’s tackle them one-by-one.
First, Aleksandar Kovacevic. There was an article indicating Kovacevic had offers from “Norway and the USA.” Sporting KC weren’t specifically mentioned, but a tweet came later that tied him to the team.
Serbski pomocnik Aleksandar Kovacević ma ofertę z MLS. Gracza Lechii chce zatrudnić Sporting Kansas City.— Mateusz Borek (@BorekMati) January 8, 2017
Google Translate has that as: “Serbian midfielder Aleksandar Kovacevic has a deal with MLS. Lechia player wants to hire Sporting Kansas City.” Obviously the Polish to English translation is a little rough, but that’s enough to dive a little deeper on Kovacevic.
Kovacevic turns 25-years-old today, January 9th. He is a defensive midfielder, a position Sporting could use some depth at. Behind Soni Mustivar the depth chart is really just Lawerence Olum, who seems far better suited to play center back (and he actually had a good run their in 2016 next to Ike Opara).
Kovacevic currently plays for Lechia Gdańsk in Poland and joined the club on a free transfer in August. In Ekstraklasa, the Polish first division, the season runs the traditional European style from summer/fall to spring. Over that time Kovacevic has five league appearances and two appearances in the Polish Cup.
Clearly he’s not a starter, but his contract is likely not for six months. Therefore this move would either require a transfer fee (unless his club lets him go on free transfer) or he’d come over in the summer which would likely be the earliest his deal expires. In FIFA 17 he’s just a 65, so he’s probably a move for depth (Soni is a 71).
The second rumored player was actually a rumor back in December but has apparently still been mulling the move as recently as January 7th. Alex Bergantinos is also a defensive midfielder but he’s significantly older at 31-years of age. Bergantinos is under contract until June of 2018 so he’d definitely require a transfer fee (unless of course they’re just giving him away).
Bergantinos plays for Deportivo de La Coruña in La Liga. If you were wondering, Alex is rated as a 74 in FIFA (though FIFA rates players higher based on the league they are in, ie. La Liga > MLS). That might indicate Sporting are looking at Bergantinos to push Mustivar for his starting job. If Bergantinos were to start it would be the first time for him this year, as he hasn’t made a single appearance in La Liga this season (he did make the 18 for a single Copa del Rey game).
Both of these players are internationals and would require and international roster spot, of which Sporting KC appear to be running out of (especially if that Latif Blessing signing finally gets announced this week).
Much like the first couple silly season rumors, it’s entirely possible there is nothing to either of these moves. The Kovacevic move seems slightly more likely (if he’s free) just because he’s likely to be paid far less. But with Sporting KC reportedly spending €1.5 million for Gerso Fernandes, it’s a whole new world in the offseason. If nothing else, how often does one get to write about two Alex’s in the same post?
Shout out to Mike for his tireless efforts to uncover every rumor ever.