The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team’s disappointing showing at the Under-17 World Cup did nothing to slow down the rising interest in U-17 standout Gianluca Busio, who has multiple European clubs lining up to try and land him in the upcoming winter transfer window.
Fiorentina is preparing a transfer offer of more than $3 million, sources with knowledge of the impending offer told SBI on Monday. The transfer interest from Fiorentina, first reported by Italian media on Monday morning, isn’t the only interest among Serie A teams, as several are interested in securing the 17-year-old attacking midfielder, who holds an Italian passport.
Sources tell SBI that Genoa is also preparing an offer for Busio, while multiple English Premier League clubs are also interested. Liverpool and Wolves have scouted Busio in person, while Sporting Kansas City scouting director Edward Burleson was recently quoted as identifying interest in Busio from Manchester United and Inter Milan.
While interest in Busio is ramping up, Sporting Kansas City manager and sporting director Peter Vermes cautioned that there was nothing close on the transfer front regarding Busio.
“There’s been interest in him for the past 18 months, and I knew it would pick back up, but it’s not something we’re rushing into by any means,” Vermes told SBI. “Is there interest? Sure, there’s a lot of interest from a lot of different people at the moment, but we’re not in any rush to make a deal. It’s really simple.”
Vermes would not discuss what Sporting Kansas City’s price tag is for Busio, or what types of offers have been made. He did confirm to SBI that Fiorentina made a formal offer for Busio before the Under-17 World Cup, but noted the offer was nowhere close to anything Sporting KC would consider. A source with knowledge of Fiorentina’s intentions tells SBI that an improved offer is imminent, though Busio’s price could rise considerably as English Premier League clubs become involved in the transfer chase.
Busio made 22 appearances for Sporting KC in 2019, registering three goals and an assist. He was one of the few bright spots for the USMNT Under-17s, which crashed out of the Under-17 World Cup without a win, performing well enough to boost the already-established interest in him from European clubs eager to land one of the most highly-rated young Americans in the USMNT talent pipeline.
Busio has one more year left on his current contract with Sporting KC, but the team holds option years on the deal for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
Sporting KC is clearly willing to listen to offers for Busio, but Multiple reports claim the club has placed a $10 million price tag. That figure has become the standard price often linked to top young MLS talent, a figure that happens to still be the highest price ever paid for an American MLS product (by Villarreal for Jozy Altidore in 2007). Alphonso Davies’ transfer to Bayern Munich in 2017, valued at a reported $22 million, shattered the record for transfer paid for an MLS player.