Sporting Kansas City have been linked to Norwegian center back Stian Gregersen since November. A new rumor is coming out that the team has upped their offer for a second time (a third offer in total). However, it sounds like Molde FK and Sporting KC are still pretty far apart.
The latest rumor from Aftenposten (behind paywall) has Kansas City offering somewhere between five and eight million kroner (there is another rumor at 8.5 million). That is actually lower than the 10 million kroner number in the second rumored offer (rumors can be unreliable of course). 10 million kroner is roughly equivalent to $1.1 million US dollars.
Apparently, Molde FK have “at least” a 15 million kroner price tag on Gregersen. That’s about $1.77 million US dollars. The key will be to keep the offer at a level that allows Sporting KC to keep Gregersen’s max budget charge below the threshold of a Designated Player. They already have three DPs and it’s hard to imagine they want to buy down the contract of Johnny Russell to have a CB at the DP level.
At $1.77 million, if KC were to increase their offer that much, it would still be possible to buy down his contract as long as his salary demands, contract length and total transfer fee keep the average cost of his contract below $1,612,500 per year. Signing him to a three year deal (not uncommon) with a $1.77 million fee would allow Gregersen to not be a DP with a wage at or below just north of $1 million. It’s unlikely he’s making anything close to that now. At even just a two year deal the team could pay him north of $500,000 and still have room to buy down his deal.
The transfer fee seems like something KC just need to work out with Molde. If Peter Vermes and company are high enough of Stian, the math can probably work. There could be a bigger issue at hand.
Does Gregersen Even Want to Come to KC?
As we reported a few days ago, Stian Gregersen may not even be interested in coming to the United States or Kansas City. According to a Norwegian to English translation (which is all we have in all these rumors/stories), Gregersen wants to stay in Europe, preferably in a larger European league.
Stian Rode Gregersen vil ikke til USA likevel. Kan Ståle Solbakken ha hatt noe med det å gjøre? De to har i hvert fall snakket. Og nå vil @Molde_FK-stopperen prioritere sport foran økonomi – helst i en bedre europeisk liga.— VG Sporten (@vgsporten) January 14, 2021
Se utdraget fra tredje episode av Silly Season her: pic.twitter.com/NImgQRKH4p
It’s always possible he could be convinced (if there is any truth to this rumor at all). Peter Vermes has long said, he just needs to get the player to KC to show them it’s worth coming. In an interview PV gave The Blue Testament in 2019, he talked about trying to get players to come to “Kansas.”
“There are a lot of guys that, first off, don’t want to come to Kansas,” Vermes responded. “They don’t know where it is, what it is, they think people are riding horses. They really do. Now, no problem if I can get a player here on a recruiting trip, then it’s totally different. I can sell a player in two seconds. But, the other side of it is, most players when they want to come to MLS, they’re thinking New York, they’re thinking California, West Coast. That’s what they are thinking. For us that’s a challenge in itself. Right? We might find five guys that we really like that fit our team really well but if they don’t want to come, then they don’t want to come. So that’s another hurdle that we have to overcome.”
In this week’s press conference, Vermes did appear to be both visibly frustrated and potentially frustrated in how the offseason is going. It could be because of rumored deals like this one not working out, negotiations with their current/former players dragging on or any other number of factors around CBA negotiations, COVID and the state of the world as a whole.
For more on Gregersen, check out our initial rumor story.