As preseason is now under way in Arizona for Sporting Kansas City, it seemed like a good time to look back at the rumors from this past offseason to see where they stand (or to catch you up if you missed them). There were only five rumored signings, so it won’t take long.
Monaco Winger — Samuel Grandsir
With left winger Gerso Fernandes having left the team, it was rumored that Sporting KC made a bid for AS Monaco winger, Samuel Grandsir. Unfortunately, that bid was reportedly rejected because Grandsir wanted to stay in Europe.
Well so much for that.
Reports now are that Grandsir will join the LA Galaxy in MLS. Apparently, he just didn’t want to play in Kansas. Maybe he thinks everyone in KC is just riding horses or something (can’t wait for KC to beat LA even more now). Grandsir is just 24-years-old and will reportedly come to LA on a free transfer with Monaco retaining a sell-on fee percentage. If he would have joined SKC, he’d have been the third French signing of the offseason.
Let’s hope SKC at least have his Discovery Rights and LA will be forced to trade for them. It’ll give a little solace for the fact that Grandsir reportedly rejected KC’s overtures if LA have to give something up to get him (as stupid as that rule is).
Update: It’s official, he joined the Galaxy.
Argentinian CB — Lautaro Giannetti
Back in early February, reports were that Velez Sarsfield captain, Lautaro Giannetti was heading stateside to join Sporting Kansas City. That would mark the second time he was linked to Sporting as he was also a rumored target in 2019. The 27-year-old seems likely to have been a surefire starter if he had come to KC.
Instead, rumors shifted that Atlanta United were making a move to bring Giannetti to the United States. However, that reportedly fell through when Giannetti failed a physical. Felipe Cardenas is reporting possible ACL issues. Giannetti is reportedly back in Argentina undergoing additional tests.
Norwegian CB — Stian Gregersen
The final rumor (that didn’t come true) is a bid for Molde FK center back, Stian Gregersen. Or should we say, three bids. The highest of the reported offers from Kansas City were reportedly $1.1 million, which would allow Gregersen to be a TAM player if the contract is spread over just a couple years (depending ultimately on his final salary).
Gregersen too opted to stay in Europe at this time. He is still playing for his club so no word on if KC has made a fourth bid for the player or are happy with what they have in central defense.
The Ones that Came True
Two of the five rumors actually came to fruition. Sporting KC signed two French players, midfielder Remi Walter and center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin. They are considered the two “big” signings of the offseason and are expected to compete for starting spots. Walter is expected to compete for a midfield spot (likely Roger Espinoza’s), which is a change from earlier in the offseason when it was believed he was going to play in Ilie Sanchez’s role.
Isimat-Mirin is still stuck overseas dealing with immigration issues, so his battle to start will take a bit of a setback. The team is much thinner at CB, with just four on the roster, so he could still break through. If you press me, I’d say the presumptive starters are Andreu Fontas and Roberto Puncec right now.
So, that’s reportedly five rumors, of which two came true. The number of rumors on the whole are down throughout the world in a cold transfer market, but two out of five is actually solid when it comes to “silly season.” As a point of reference, KC were zero for four last summer for rumors and three of 10 in the 2020 offseason.
I personally expect the transfer market to potentially heat up as the summer approaches. It sounds like SKC Head Coach and Sporting Director, Peter Vermes, feels the same way.
“Our primary transfer window to bring players into the team has been extended to June 1,” began Vermes. “Usually it ends in early May. So we’re not in a major rush to all of the sudden try to sign a player. I want to use some of the preseason to see who we are as a team and where we are. If we need to make some improvements, we’re in a position to do that based on what we see rather than trying to sign someone really quickly. The immigration aspect of getting players in from other countries is also difficult. We have to take that into consideration if we want to sign another player, but we’re going to take our time with that.”
So this saga isn’t over yet. Sporting currently have two open international roster spots, as well as three roster spots in general (more if you count potential season long loans to USL). I fully believe Sporting will make a move, if they need to, in the summer window. Maybe they’ll take advantage of the new U-22 Initiative. Maybe they’ll buy down a contract and sign another Designated Player. There are options.