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McKennie, Busio among USMNT players set to be free agents in 2025

The 2024-25 season isn’t far from kicking off and for many players, that will mark the end of their current contacts abroad.

Weston McKennie, Tanner Tessmann, and Tim Ream are three American players that have been linked with potential transfers this summer, but should they stay with their current clubs, they will be entering the final season of their contracts.

Many others are also entering an intriguing time of their club careers including Mark McKenzie, Lennard Maloney, and Gianluca Busio.

Here is an early look at which Americans players are set to become free agents next summer:


Tim Ream – Fulham


Tim Ream has played a key role in Fulham’s continued stay in the English Premier League, but that time could be coming to an end.

Ream, 36, has already been linked with a potential move to MLS side Charlotte FC this summer. The U.S. men’s national team veteran featured in 21 matches for Fulham last season, pushing him over 300 combined appearances for the club.

Despite being in the final years of his career, Ream has continued to play at a high level for club and country.


Weston McKennie – Juventus


Weston McKennie is coming off a career-best year for Juventus heading into the final year of his contract.

The 25-year-old midfielder logged 10 assists in 38 combined appearances last season, helping Juventus win the Coppa Italia and clinch a top-four finish in Serie A. McKennie remains linked with English Premier League side Aston Villa, who was also in the mix for his signature last summer too.

With Thiago Motta taking over for Massimiliano Allegri in Turin, McKennie might be on the move this season so Juventus can receive a transfer fee.


Tanner Tessmann – Venezia


One of two American standouts for Venezia this past season, Tanner Tessmann is already on the radar for a potential move away.

Inter Milan is reportedly in talks with Venezia to acquire Tessmann on a permanent deal this summer. Tessmann could head back to Venezia or somewhere else on a season-long loan as part of the deal, giving him a better chance of playing regularly in Serie A.

His seven goals were a career-high, showing that Tessmann can contribute in a big way.


Lennard Maloney – Heidenheim


24-year-old Lennard Maloney helped Heidenheim to an impressive Bundesliga finish last May.

Maloney heads into the final year of his contract despite being a key player for Heidenheim. He scored two goals and added one assist in 31 appearances, logging over 2,400 minutes for the eighth-place finishers.

European Football will be on Maloney’s schedule this fall and potentially a new contract with the club.


Johan Gomez – Eintracht Braunschweig


An impressive 2023-24 campaign for Johan Gomez might not see him finish out his contract with German 2. Bundesliga side Eintracht Braunschweig.

Gomez, 22, scored three goals and added four assists in 35 combined appearances. The U.S. men’s national team prospect was one of the better performers for Braunschweig last season, who finished 15th in the league table.

It’s hard to predict Gomez finishing the 2024-25 season out with Braunschweig, especially if he ups his production in the first half of the league schedule.


Gianluca Busio – Venezia


Gianluca Busio was the second half of the 1-2 combination at Venezia this past season.

Busio, a former Sporting KC homegrown standout, scored seven goals and contributed five assists for the promoted side. Alongside the aforementioned Tessmann, Busio enjoyed a career-best season as Venezia defeated Cremonese in the playoff final.

Busio is already on the reported radar of fellow Serie A side Parma, who is aiming to bolster its midfield before the new season begins.


Mark McKenzie – Genk


Mark McKenzie has been a stalwart for the Genk backline over the past few seasons, but might not be part of the plans past 2025.

A former Philadelphia Union homegrown, McKenzie played over 4,000 minutes last season for Genk in all competitions. McKenzie has made 127 appearances for Genk since his arrival from MLS, being a consistent performer over the last few seasons.

He now heads into the final season of his contract, uncertain of what’s next at club level.


Richie Ledezma – PSV


Richie Ledezma joined PSV with a lot of promise and potential, but injuries have derailed his time in Holland.

Ledezma, 23, spent most of last season on loan at NYCFC, before rejoining PSV last winter. He did feature in PSV’s season finale last May and now enters the final season of his contract with the club.

Sources have confirmed to SBI that several MLS clubs including the LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers have expressed interest in Ledezma, should a move come to fruition this summer.


Duane Holmes – Preston North End


Duane Holmes has been influential for Preston North End since his arrival, but it’s unsure whether or not he remain there long-term.

The 29-year-old Holmes scored five goals and added six assists in 37 combined appearances for Ryan Lowe’s squad last season. A former Huddersfield Town and Derby County player, Holmes has been around the block in England during his career.

Preston will aim to be part of the promotion picture this season and a healthy Holmes could be crucial to those goals.


Lynden Gooch – Stoke City


Lynden Gooch remains an EFL Championship veteran as he heads into the final season of his Stoke City contract.

The 28-year-old fullback made the switch from Sunderland to Stoke City last summer, totaling 32 combined appearances between the two clubs. Despite missing time due to an ankle injury, Gooch contributed two goals and was a constant figure in the Potters squad.

Stoke City will hope to avoid a relegation scrap this season and Gooch should help with that.


Donovan Pines – Barnsley


Injuries plagued Donovan Pines’ first season with Barnsley but a healthy summer should lead to big things in 2024-25.

The former DC United defender made four appearances last spring for Barnsley, scoring twice from his centerback position. Pines, 26, travelled back to the U.S. this summer as part of his injury rehab, hoping to be ready for week one of preseason.

Comments

  1. Ledezma started for PSV in their first friendly today ( July 6). Many of the first team regulars not off on international duty also started. Richie played as the deepest midfielder dropping back between the CBs. He had 50 touches and was 41/47 passing in 45 minutes, was taking free kicks in the 10 minutes I watched. They lost 3-0, Anderlecht was on their third friendly whereas PSV were clearly knocking off their rust.

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  2. Venezia’s Gianluca Busio included in Roma’s summer shortlist…….wow, Hope this is the start for something special

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  3. Playing out his deal at Juve isn’t necessarily the worst thing. Puts things in Weston’s hands. Which means- if he puts his head down, gets fit, has a season like last, Juve will likely up their ante or he’ll have more options than he does now under contract. Maybe light a fire as well which is a good thing….. Wes does seem to be the sort where comfort equates to fat and happy if I’m allowed to say so.

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    • mckennie for good or ill is a NT regular who’d have no problem getting a work permit in the UK if he wanted, and unlike someone like reyna, would be seen as more worth it and less risky as the expensive transfer juve would demand.

      i think what you’re saying is truer of the sale-leasebacks or players extending to then go on loan. those players are often in more marginal situations where being loaned or worse signing an extension is making even worse what little ability they have to control their careers. but do you really think mckennie can’t basically call his shot?

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      • Saying that at the moment, Juve has some leverage, can make fee/trade demands which limits Weston’s options. The closer to the end of his contract he is, the less leverage Juve has and more he does which translates to more viable options. Also think that scenario has the possibility of lighting a fire he seems to need, provide additional motivation that might not be there otherwise.

      • Work permits are much easier to get now. MLS has been upgraded to Tier 3 which means an MLS regular like Aidan Morris can get a work permit without a large amount of caps. Players in upper European leagues like Wes or Reggie Cannon wouldn’t even need international caps and an even less percentage of club minutes. Teams can also even request up to four permits for players that don’t meet requirements, although that’s more for young players or someone who had a long term injury that kept them off the field. Post Brexit it’s very easy because they don’t have to take any European Union player and with the improved level of MLS it’s far easier than the early 2000s.

    • Juve putting out there yet again that Wes is not in their plans for this season. We’ve heard that every year, but this time Allegri isn’t there to save him.

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      • Allegri did not save him. Weston saved himself.

        I question how interested he is, though.

        He looked lethargic to me all throughout Copa America.

        He was okay but something seemed to be missing.

    • rico po,

      “Maybe light a fire as well which is a good thing….. Wes does seem to be the sort where comfort equates to fat and happy if I’m allowed to say so.”

      That seems to work for Weston.
      It’s a great way to go until it isn’t.
      One of these days, Weston isn’t going to be able to come back from his slumps.
      Point is he can be comfortable after he retires.
      Until then his career might go a lot better if he tries to always be at his best.

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  4. For sure. If I see or read something I try to credit where I heard just so others can go check it if they are so inclined.

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  5. i think we need to separate out “they want you gone” from “there is transfer chatter.” i think venezia might be willing to sell tessmann — but then the chatter is about a leaseback — they don’t want him gone. which sounds to me like financial games. likewise, some of the people who force a transfer out of ambition. this is different than weston or ream being shown the door. or reyna, who if he’s not in the window, should be forcing it.

    in either case, to me calibrating the next move and setting aside sheer greed a little is important. you want to land safe next spot. personally i think the sale-leaseback stuff misleads as the safe loan is only the first year. it’s only incrementally better than someone going way over their head where all that’s going to happen is years of out of control loans — ie, the whole contract. you just control that first comfortable year.

    to me if you go sign someplace knowing you’re to be loaned you have inherently miscalibrated. they are telling you up front they don’t see you up to standard. what almost inevitably happens is they spend years bouncing before someone like PSV bails them out. in which case why not PSV to start with?

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    • No player really controls their situation though. You can go to say Leeds then the manager gets fired now the next manager doesn’t rate you or your skills no longer match what they want from your position. When Richards signed Palace had experimented with some 3 CB formations and there were rumors Guehi was going to be sold. Neither of those materialized and then Viera gets fired. It was only when Guehi got a serious injury and a new manager replaced Hodgson 18 months later that Chris found a good run of starts at CB. Pulisic fall of 2020 coming off the Covid restart were he was Chelsea’s best player. The team decides to sign some big additions (Werner, Havertz, Ziyech) combined with early season injuries and suddenly he’s out. Two manager changes annd even more signings and suddenly he’s changing in the hallway because he’s so far down the list. Terzic was starting Gio every week with Sancho and Erling, those guys get sold Gio gets a big injury, couldn’t get on the field. So even when you feel loved when you sign that can change in an heartbeat. Often times the players agents are the ones finding the loans so players do typically have some say on where they go, reportedly Gio’s team picked Forest.

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      • i seriously doubt gio picked up a pushpin, looked at a wall map of europe, and said, of all these teams…….all these countries……forest. bull.

        first, i think you conflate “out of deal” with “needs a transfer.” if you run your deal and are available on a free you can sign where-ever you want, that wants you back. if you have years left and need a loan or sale to get out, THEN i think your contract club owns your tookus and can control who gets to compete based on financial terms and such. THAT is how one ends up at forest, IMO. or are we forgetting he would already have known they benched hovrath (who fled) and were talking about doing the same to turner?

        no, i think you can do these things at times where you have the power, or you can do things that take away your power. tessmann being sold to inter only to u turn back to venezia is handing away power. the team he is playing for no longer has his long term rights. nothing requires tessmann to be dutifully sent back to venezia every year. half the problem with these loan players is as they develop their sticker price to the outside world will gain an “inter markup
        — even if inter would never play them. that then limits who can buy them or take them on loan, as inter wants to get paid.

        last point, all due respect to what you’re pushing, but certain teams eg fulham are known for being US friendly. and a lot of this is about priorities and doing your homework. if my priority is soccer and playing, i control my fate and i research who plays my position at my destination. i set myself up to succeed — even if i have to wait out my deal or take a smaller % of the fee.

        if my priority is prestige or making money, i take the big name or the big deal. and then no surprise if i get lost in a numbers game, benched, loaned out. because i probably missed where they have a world cup star at my position and 5 guys total signed to play it.

        sorry but high up my list of college recruitment questions was, what do you see my role as a freshman being? i wanted to know the enthusiasm level and how they saw it playing out.

        personally i feel like what we’re dealling with is a NT just now starting to break into the biggest clubs and leagues, and struggling a little on how to balance sports and business. when the US could barely get a sniff, you took what you could. we have now stepped up but it’s not without pitfalls.

      • Even as a free agent you can’t go anywhere you want. So no one has complete control. Just as Gio’s team was limited to teams looking for AM midfielder loan prospects. I’m not up enough on Inter’s roster to know the contract status of their MFs or the state of their financials. Financial trouble at AC Milan and Juve made them good landing spots for Americans. I do see that Inters MF is aging, he spends a year at Venezia then a year coming off the bench at Inter and then maybe he’s ready for big minutes. Inter will always need depth for CL, Cup, and Serie A play.
        ————————
        Horvath was clearly not EPL caliber. Forest didn’t think so (signed him as a Championship backup) and Luton didn’t think so. Sometimes it isn’t prejudice it’s just football decisions.

    • IV,

      “they are telling you up front they don’t see you up to standard.”

      Not necessarily.

      “to me if you go sign someplace knowing you’re to be loaned you have inherently miscalibrated. they are telling you up front they don’t see you up to standard. what almost inevitably happens is they spend years bouncing before someone like PSV bails them out. in which case why not PSV to start with?”

      Maybe PSV didn’t want you when the loan originally started?

      There you go again painting everything with a broad brush when you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      It is not as simple as you’re making it out to be. Let’s say, for example, that Inter do that sign and then loan back with Tessman. Have you read how these contracts are set up? Are you intimate with the reasons for why Inter and Venezia might want to set things up that way?

      If you haven’t then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      Unlike you I am old enough to remember when Chelsea bought Pulisic in the January window and then loaned him back to BVB to complete the season. According to Forbes:

      “The loan-back clause was crucial for Chelsea to get any deal done for the 20-year-old USA national team player. Dortmund are currently six points clear at the top of the table and while Pulisic has lost his starting position ahead of the Bundesliga winter break to English international Jadon Sancho…..BVB did not want to threaten their own title challenge by letting a potentially important key piece go in the winter……………………………….Chelsea, in the meantime, needed to complete the transfer immediately. The London based club are currently under investigation by FIFA for signing underaged non-European Union players and, in the worst-case, could face a transfer ban during the July-August transfer window………………………………..Hence, for the Londoners getting a deal done now was important. The buy now and loan-back until the summer deal was, therefore, the perfect compromise. The deal circumnavigates any potential future transfer ban as Pulisic is already on the books with Chelsea as of this winter………………..
      Dortmund are able to keep a potentially important piece in their title challenge until the summer and now also have time to find a replacement ”

      You always act like the player is 100% in control of these deals but I doubt it’s that straightforward. My guess would be that CP would have preferred to leave straight away. But obviously, a deal that was satisfactory to all parties was eventually brokered.

      So stop spreading the malarkey until you know what you’re talking about.

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  6. Fabrizio Romano continues to say that Wes will be at Aston Villa next year. Sounds like Illing and Wes for Douglas Luiz. Everyone’s agreed just working out the final details with the players.

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    • Have you all read the recent Athletic interview with McKennie? It’s not exactly encouraging. Brushes off fitness questions, blithely mentions “personal chef,” seems to take for granted that he deserves to be on a Champions League team, pudgy or not.

      My sense is that he’s probably already missed his chance with Villa — which would have been a tough coach but one who might have really helped him grow — and may now be a bit anxious to find a team, period.

      Which might partly explain why his mind didn’t seem to be entirely on the game in the US vs. Bolivia opener.

      As a fellow Texan, I like him and wish him well. I hope he can settle down and play well in the rest of the summer tournament, because the USMNT really need to be able to depend on him. But of all the US players, I wonder if he may be one of the moodier, more up-and-down ones. I hope the other guys can help him plant his feet on solid ground and get down to the business of this summer’s soccer.

      .
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      • Tejana, you pay for The Athletic but won’t pay for streaming? We all have our things I suppose.
        – sounds like Wes’s camp blocked the move to Villa and the trade between Villa and Juve is done just have to have the players involved do medicals, so yes that move appears definitely off. Wes seems to be loved by his managers so I think the idea is play out his deal under Motta and if he fits they can do a new deal with Juve or have their pick of interested suitors in free agency.

      • Thanks for the reply. You likely know more than I do about who all his “camp” includes. It’s hard for me to imagine the kind of life that involves an entourage. (Though I envy him the chef.)

        My household subscribes to the New York Times, mainly for the puzzles and to support print journalism; the Athletic was included when they bought it, which I actually found disappointing because it seemed to push Rory Smith to the sideline.

        I don’t read anything else in the outsourced sports department except soccer, and not all of that; but I thought it was an interesting interview and appreciated their doing it. I hope some other coaches and scouts from across the pond will not only read it, but talk to him.

        McKennie just seems tired, whether physically or mentally or because of the extreme heat, or all of the above. It was sad to me that he seemed to have really had his hopes up that he would get a quicker, better offer sooner this summer, after working so hard to have a good season in Italy despite yet another coaching change. I don’t think he’s wrong to point out that his play at Juve ought to weigh more in the balance than that mess at Leeds. Alas, I do think there’s a certain coolness to the welcome Americans are likely to get in England, despite the occasional exception like Ream. So I wish people could help cheer him up.

        However, I don’t think he’s fragile, since he’s already come through so much. So hopefully he can just put all that to the back of his mind for the next week or two — and/or Cardoso or someone can step in for enough minutes to help out. I hope you’re right that they’re all likely to play better as the tournament goes along.

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