One of the standout performers during the side’s astounding run to the quarter-finals, Gonzalez’s future with his current club the Columbus Crew has been thrown into doubt as a result, with head coach Gregg Berhalter admitting earlier this month that he expected offers to come in for the centre-back.
The 26-year-old joined the Crew only in February this year from Norwegian club Valerenga, where he played two seasons, going on to appear in 11 MLS games before departing for Brazil.
Emerging as one of the breakout stars of the summer, Gonzalez earned widespread plaudits for his performances over recent weeks, being named in the BBC’s Team of the Tournament among others, and even prompting pundit Rio Ferdinand to declare on air that he would be shocked if the Ticos defender did not earn a lucrative move to Europe.
With his strength, composure and excellent reading of the game, there is more than enough to suggest the former Alajuelense product should be a solid fit in English football, although questions should be asked of the reported fee, considering it would be the second-largest MLS has ever received, trailing only Jozy Altidore’s $10m move to Villarreal in June 2008.
Nevertheless, with Sunderland still needing reinforcements at the back to challenge Wes Brown and John O’Shea, Wearside could be a good destination for Gonzalez, despite some no doubt being worried about the potential of him becoming the latest World Cup transfer bust.