Why clubs must try to convince USA star Matt Besler to make Premier League move

USA 2013 Player Lineup

As Sporting Kansas City centre-back Matt Besler leans towards staying in MLS over a Premier League move, clubs should pull out all the stops to change his mind.

Despite receiving offers from English clubs after his impressive World Cup campaign, Matt Besler’s agent says that the USA international would prefer to remain in MLS with Sporting Kansas City.

Besler revealed on a radio appearance earlier this week that both Sunderland and Fulham were interested in his signature, the latter said to have made a firm bid, following reports that up to 10 European teams were courting him on the back of his impressive showing in Brazil.

The centre-back had also been linked to German outfit SC Freiburg earlier this month, but those reports have since been quashed, despite agent Eddie Rock stating at the time that his client was weighing up offers from both the Premier League and the Bundesliga, as well the option to land a more lucrative contract with Sporting KC.

While the club previously admitted that they would likely struggle to hold onto their star captain in light of ‘enormous interest’, the 27-year-old is now seemingly leaning towards the latter option, though a record MLS deal for a defender is said to be required to keep him around.

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 he 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, while 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 at 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 sides, with an asking price of $5million to $6m quoted for his services.

With Aston Villa another of the sides said to be interested in Belser, a team needing help at the back should be trying everything they can over the coming days to make him the latest MLS star to earn a big European move, such has been his form not just at the World Cup, but also over the past few seasons.

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