Reported West Ham United and Fulham target Kai Wagner admits to Kicker that he plans to leave Philadelphia Union in 2021, with a move to the Premier League appealing to the Major League Soccer star.
As Union coach Jim Curtin pointed out when asked by MLS Soccer about the rising interest in his buccaneering 23-year-old, there is not an unlimited supply of top-quality left-backs available in the transfer market.
No wonder they tend to go for big money.
The likes of Ben Chilwell, Benjamin Mendy and Lucas Hernandez have moved for fees in excess of £50 million in the last few years.
So that explains why Wagner, with his bargain £3.5 million price-tag, is a man in high demand.
The Mail report that West Ham and Fulham want to lure the former Schalke youngster to London.
“There aren’t that many good left-backs in the world, so many clubs have needs there. I want to move back to Europe in January or in July at the latest,” Wagner said when asked specifically about interest from the Hammers and the Cottagers.
“But first, and this is particularly important, I want to win the MLS Cup with Philadelphia (in December). After that there is still enough time to deal with the future.
“I’ll be 24 in February, so I think I’ll have to change (clubs) soon. I am ready for one of the top three leagues in Europe – the Bundesliga, the Premier League or Spain, if you like.
“Many say I became the best left-back in the league here (in the MLS).”
Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union have already sold the so-called ‘American Havertz’ Brenden Aaronson to Red Bull Salzburg, while centre-back Mark McKenzie has also been linked with Celtic.
According to Wagner, the in-form MLS outfit will let him go if they receive an acceptable offer.
“Philadelphia’s plan was to develop me and sell me back to Europe two or three years later for a little more money,” he added. “And that’s what I want too.”