It’s the first day of 2021 and Sporting Kansas City have a fresh rumor to start the year. This rumor would appear to fill a big need for Sporting KC. The club is being linked with center back Stian Gregersen from Norway. Gregersen competes for Molde in the Norwegian top flight (Eliteserien).
Gregersen is just 25-years-old and the bid is reported to be the second from Sporting Kansas City. The first rumor has SKC making a bid of seven million kroner (about 800k US dollars). That bid was said to be insufficient so Sporting have come back with a bid of 10 million Norwegian kroner (about $1.1 million US).
An offer of over a million could easily keep Gregersen from Designated Player levels, depending ultimately on his salary. Sporting currently have three DPs in Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda and Johnny Russell. Russell’s salary is low enough to still be bought down. The team also should have a good amount of money available in their MLS salary budget as they’ve yet to re-sign Felipe Gutierrez, Roger Espinoza, Erik Hurtado or Gerso Fernandes. They’ve also parted ways with high priced center backs Matt Besler and Winston Reid.
Does Gregersen Fit with SKC?
As stated above, this really fills a need if it’s true. SKC only have three center backs on the roster currently. The presumptive starters are Andreu Fontas and Roberto Puncec with Graham Smith being a depth piece. If Gregersen were to join, he would likely push for starting minutes as teams don’t often pay over $1 million in MLS for bench players.
Sporting KC don’t often pay transfer fees at all for that matter. Prior to the 2020 season, SKC had spent a combined $4 million on transfer fees. Ever. Then they broke the bank with the signing of Alan Pulido for a rumored $9.5 million fee. They also exercised the loan purchase option on Gadi Kinda’s contract for a rumored $3.7 million. If all these fees are true and the Gregersen deal goes through, SKC would have gone from $4 million before Pulido to $18.3 million just a year later. Wild!
More on Gregersen
Stian Gregersen is a right footed center back, though the rumor refers to him as a midfielder. It does appear he’s played some defensive midfielder in his day. It would seem unlikely that KC would add him in that role, as their newest signing Remi Walter is rumored to play that spot. Additionally, they already pay Ilie Sanchez $900,000 or so to man that position.
Gregersen does have some youth Norwegian National Team experience having played for their U-18 side. He also received a call-up to the full national team for November Nations League games but an injury caused him to be removed from the team.
He appears to have come up in the Kristiansund BK youth system before moving over to Molde’s youth system. He’s spent time on loan with Kristiansund BK’s senior team as well as IF Elfsborg (Sweden). In his career, which includes Europa League as well as Champions League qualifying, he has 133 appearances, five goals and over 10,000 minutes played.
Doing some video game based scouting, it appears he may be a bit faster than CBs that SKC have had over the last few years. Something the team is always sorely in need of with their propensity to throw numbers forward.
Thanks to TBT’s own, Mike Kuhn, for tracking down this story. Go follow that guy on Twitter, seriously. What do you think Sporting KC faithful? Sound like a good fit?