Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes has revealed that the club are trying to bring out-of-favour Wigan Athletic midfielder Roger Espinoza back to MLS.
Espinoza spent his first five professional seasons with KC after being selected 11th overall in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft out of Ohio State, making 127 total appearances, while also establishing himself as a regular for the Honduras national team.
After a standout showing at the London Olympics, the versatile 27-year-old turned down a new contract offer following the 2012 MLS campaign to join then-Premier League side Wigan on a free transfer at the start of 2013.
Going on to start the shock 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final a few months later, the two-time World Cup veteran has since found his first-team minutes decreasing following the club’s relegation to the Championship, with new manager Uwe Rosler favouring other options.
Making just two total appearances so far this season, speculation about a winter return to MLS has been rife in recent weeks and Vermes admits that, while no deal is in place at this time, there have been discussions.
‘I'm here to tell you there's no done deal,’ he told reporters on Wednesday, during the club's weekly news conference. ‘I've talked to Roger since he left, and we're always talking about an opportunity for him if he ever comes back. But we own his rights, and we want him to come back.’
Having offered Espinoza a new deal before his departure for England, Sporting KC hold the right of first refusal were he to return to MLS and, with the 42-times capped international’s Wigan contract set to expire next summer, Vermes stresses that there is no real rush to make a move happen at this stage.
‘There's no reason for us to buy him,’ he said. ‘First off, he went away to that team on a free. Our league is not a model for transfers. It just is not. And we wouldn't go back out and buy him, especially when he's not playing on a regular basis there. Why would we? It would definitely not be a smart business move, and I like to think that we're pretty good on that.’
Having become a fan favourite in KC during his previous spell for his tenacious and energetic performances, supporters would no doubt be eager to see Espinoza make a return to Sporting Park but, while a deal seems probable, it remains to be seen how soon it will happen.