Report: Kai Wagner receiving European interest
Philadelphia Union All-Star defender Kai Wagner made it clear last month that he would like to take his talents to Europe. Now, it has been reported that numerous teams in across the pond are interested.
In a recent report from Kristian Dyer, Wager is apparently getting interest from the EPL, Bundesliga, and La Liga. The two teams most interested in Wagner are Watford and RCD Espanyol.
Since 2020, Wagner has expressed his desire to move to Europe. Last month, Wagner told Manuel Veth of Transfermarkt that he would like to make a move to Europe during the January transfer window. On Trasnfermarkt, Wagner is valued at around 3.3 million dollars.
“I want to prove to myself that I can play Europe,” Wagner told Veth. “I am honest enough to say that I want to do it now. I also want to be closer to the family.”
It’s pretty evident that Wagner will likely be moved this month; however, we haven’t heard much from the Union side of things. Of course, the Union could simply not move him if they aren’t interested and honestly, they shouldn’t.
Wagner is a very valuable piece to the Union and is one of the best defenders in the MLS. This past season, Wagner made the 2021 MLS All-Star Team and was a key part of the Union’s deepest playoff run in club history.
We have heard from Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner that the market is “dead” right now. What he means by this statement is that since the COVID-19 Pandemic hit, it has been very hard for players trying to transfer into Europe.
European teams reportedly don’t have as much money as they used to due to the damage the pandemic has caused. The reason for the delay in a transfer for Wagner may be that the Union’s asking price is too high.
Who would replace Kai Wagner?
If the Union sell Wagner to a European club, they would have to find a replacement seven weeks ahead of the 2022 MLS season. With little depth at left-back, a potential Wagner departure would put the Union in some trouble.
The only other returning outside backs for the club are Mbaizo and Harriel. Mbazio is the starting right back, and Harriel plays right-back off the bench. Harriel would likely have to switch to left-back if Wagner is gone without a replacement. Regardless, they will look to be a top team in the MLS again this season.
Mandatory Credit: Carl Gulbish