Well this is surprising news to wake up to this morning. According to Grant Wahl over at Sports Illustrated, Sporting KC turned down an approach by Italian giants, Juventus for home grown defender, Erik Palmer-Brown.
Surprised may be a bit of an understatement for me when reading this. Not that I doubt Palmer-Brown's talent, the 16 year old has spent time with both the U18 and U20 national teams this offseason, so he clearly has talent. It's just not every day that you get a $1 million bid for an MLS player, let alone a teenager.
I've already seen a number of people say that Sporting should have taken the deal because there's no guarantee that Palmer-Brown will be worth it in the future.
On the other hand I completely understand Sporting wanting to keep the defender. Another local talent that the team has brought up, a US youth international, someone that the team could build around for the future. Or if he has continued success for the US youth teams, the fee that KC could command for him could be higher than $1 million.
Of course it may not all be on Sporting rejecting the bid. Palmer-Brown may not want to leave for Europe at this time. Either way this news is surprising for all the right reasons in my opinion. KC is developing talent that is good enough to catch the eye of big European clubs, but at the same time is wanting to keep the player here to help the team.
Word out of Italy tonight appears that there is a deal done between Sporting and Juventus. The deal would see Palmer-Brown stay with Sporting until he turns 18 (without an EU passport he can't transfer to a European club until 18). Once he turns 18 he would move to the "Old Lady." That article though appears to show that the transfer fee would be $250,000, quite a bit lower than the $1 million that was quoted by Wahl in the original article.
I've never seen Palmer-Brown play, but I'm very interested to see how this plays out this year. I'll be interested to see if he stays in KC and gets on the bench and potentially plays in some USOC games. Or if he goes to Oklahoma City and plays on loan with the Energy this year.