It was just last week that out of favor center back Emiliano Amor was confirmed by Peter Vermes to be on his way out of town. Now, reports out of Spain are linking Sporting Kansas City to his replacement. Former FC Barcelona player Andreu Fontàs will leave his current La Liga club Celta de Vigo and make the move to the United States.
Fontas fits the profile of a player Vermes would have pursued in the past. He came up through the Barcelona youth system and played for Barcelona B like current teammates Ilie Sanchez and Cristian Lobato and like former Sporting KC players Jordi Quintilla, Oriol Rosell and Toni Dovale.
For the last five seasons Fontas has been with Celta de Vigo where he has played in 121 games, scoring three times and assisting two others. He has quite a few trophies to his name having won a UEFA Champions League trophy, the Spanish league title twice, the Spanish Cup, the Spanish Super Cup and the FIFA club World Cup. Obviously being on FC Barcelona doesn’t hurt that.
It’s an interesting acquisition because he’s a left footed center back who’s about 6’1” tall and would seem to be a likely future replacement for Matt Besler. That said, a lot of people thought that was Emiliano Amor. Fontas does bring much more experience than the 23-year-old Amor as he’s already 28.
It’s unclear if a transfer fee will be involved or not. Transfermarkt has his contract running through June of 2019 but the article from Spain states:
“Celta will facilitate his departure by giving him the freedom to sign for Kansas City. “
Does that mean he’s being released on a free transfer? TM has his value at £2.7 million ($3.54 million) which is a lot to just let a player walk. He did play a lot less in the 17-18 season getting just 12 appearances for 883 minutes. The story goes on to praise him for his loyalty as to why the team is allowing the move and to confirm he hasn’t been involved in preseason at all. The Spanish story also states something that makes him look like he may be out of contract, though they could simply be talking about a contract extension.
“Celta never presented him with an offer of renewal.”
If a transfer fee is involved that would almost certainly make him a Designated Player for which Sporting KC has the money to buy down Roger Espinoza’s contract (Yohan Croizet’s transfer fee and Felipe Guteirrez’s salary make it unlikely they can be bought down in 2018). If no fee is involved that obviously leaves room for SKC to go get that mythical DP center forward that they and the fans spent the last 10 months talking about.
This move, while news to Kansas City fans, doesn’t appear to be a surprise to Celta fans. According to a story from a year ago, Fontas said, “I would like to spend a season to live and play in the United States. Why not play in a league that is going more.” Obviously something gets lost there a bit in translation, but the move stateside has been in the mind of Fontas for a while.
Nothing is official from the team as of this morning but we at The Blue Testament will keep you up to date when the news breaks officially. As always, big thanks to fellow TBT writer Mike Kuhn for finding this story first.