After strong rumours of English interest over the past few weeks, USA World Cup standout Matt Besler has said that Sunderland and Fulham are two clubs fighting for his services.
The Sporting Kansas City centre-back confirmed the news during a radio appearance on The Border Patrol on Wednesday, following reports that as many as 10 European sides are looking for his signature on the back of his impressive showing in Brazil.
With SKC previously admitting that they face a tough time holding onto their star captain, in light of ‘enormous interest’, a decision on Besler’s future could reportedly be made at the start of next week, with the club said to be looking for a fee in the range of $5 million to $6m.
The 27-year-old had been linked to German outfit SC Freiburg earlier in July, but those reports have seen been quashed, despite agent Eddie Rock stating that his client was weighing up offers from both England and the Bundesliga, as well the option to land a more lucrative deal with SKC.
The 2012 MLS Defender of the Year, Besler has been arguably the top centre-back in the league since being drafted by the then-Kansas City Wizards in 2009, turning down offers from Queens Park Rangers and Southampton in December 2012 to re-sign with his hometown club.
Having established himself as one of the first names on the USA teamsheet since his 2013 debut under Jurgen Klinsmann, the 21-time capped international was one of the side’s top performers during their run to the last 16, his outing in the spirited 2-1 extra-time defeat to Belgium earning particular praise.
While Besler may not be the most physically-imposing player on the pitch, he makes up for a lack of height with his strength, composure and excellent reading of the game, also standing out as one of the best passers out of the back in the league.
With fellow US centre-back Geoff Cameron currently enjoying success in Stoke, albeit at right-back, there are clear reasons to believe that the Notre Dame product would be great fit with a number of Premier League and Championship sides, with the reported fee set to be an MLS record for a defender.