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Report: Matt Besler considering Fulham, Sunderland among 10 European options

Jul 15, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

Besler Getty Images

According to’s Greg Seltzer, USMNT central defender Matt Besler is a very, very wanted man and could make his decision on his next club by Monday, if not sooner.

Seltzer reports that Besler has an offer on the table from recently-relegated Fulham, and is also being looked at by Sunderland, although the Premier League club has not yet extended an official offer.

In total, there are 10 clubs that Seltzer says are at “various levels of monitoring/interest/offer talks” with Besler, although he would only reveal a certain number of interested parties.

Seltzer’s report said that one of the clubs is in the Bundesliga but would not reveal the club, however the report states the club is unlikely to pay the price tag. He did report a few days ago that the club is not Freiburg, as was reported in German paper KickerBesler’s name is no longer mentioned in that report, but his name remains in the URL for the story, indicating that Kicker may have gone back on their report, which would support Seltzer’s claim.

It’s hinted that the other nine are in England, with “a clear majority” of them in the Premier League.  US teammate Jozy Altidore is currently on the books at Sunderland, who staged a late comeback last season to avoid relegation.

Sporting KC has been resigned to losing Besler for a while, especially after his stellar performance in the World Cup for the United States.

As far as price tag goes, Sporting Kansas City s reportedly looking for a club record transfer out fee, in the range of the $5 or $6 million that Eddie Johnson fetched when he transferred to Fulham in 2008.


Shad Khan (middle) introduces himself to Matt Besler (right) in Jacksonville during US training ahead of their match with Nigeria.

While Seltzer says Besler’s decision will be announced by Monday (what he calls a “hard deadline”), Twitter account @MLSTransfers says Besler’s decision has already been made and we will “know more” by tomorrow.

There is always the option that Besler remains in Kansas City, as signing a new contract has always been hovering in the shadows of these rumors. It has been mentioned previously that the idea of becoming a career Sporting KC player does intrigue the defender.

For what it’s worth, yours truly photographed Besler meeting Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan (on your left) during the final World Cup warmup game against Nigeria in Jacksonville. It was very clearly the first time they’d met.

That doesn’t necessarily mean anything, considering Khan owns the team that plays at EverBank Field and naturally he’s going to want to talk to the US players that are playing there.

But clearly if Fulham already made an offer, Khan was obviously been impressed with the 27-year-old.

And it would seem he’s not the only one.

  1. banginggswithduece - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Besler is 27.

  2. bradybbgoat - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    At age 27 Besler shouldn’t waste a year of his time toiling in the Championship, so forget Fulham.

    I think Sunderland would be a great fit. He would have another American there to help him get settled with Jozy and there is a great opportunity to break into the first team. O’Shea and Brown are their starting tandem in the center and both will be 33-34 next season.

    But in my opinion, any PL team will do. To be able to play teams like Chelsea, City, Liverpool and Arsenal week in and week out will be huge for Besler’s development. Great news for him and for US Soccer.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Jurgen Klinsman doing his best Monty Burns: “Excellent”

  4. lavatomy - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    Would have liked to see him play in Serie A. Italians seemed to be obsessed with tactical games and as a defender you could only benefit from that.

  5. bobinkc - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    The problem with EPL is that most American players find their butts firmly parked on the bench, at which point (of disgust) they return to the States or move on into Europe proper. EPL doesn’t seem to know how to handle US talent in most cases. For me it would be really tough to go from playing 90+ minutes every game to playing 5-10 minutes off the bench (if that much). Bes is really good. Hope he stays in KC for the rest of his career.

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