By TATE STEINLAGE
Serie A leader Juventus remain relentless in their pursuit of Sporting Kansas City defender Erik Palmer-Brown.
Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes told SBI Saturday the Italian side has come back twice now with increasing offers since originally bidding $1 million last month.
“It’s gone up each time, and it’s just not something we’re willing to entertain,” Vermes said. “I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, we haven’t had the intention to sell the player [Palmer-Brown], number one. Number two is it would take quite a bit for us to sell him at this moment because we feel that he has potential within our club.
“He’s been with us since he was 11 years old. He’s been developed thus far by us and I think if we keep doing that he has incredible potential and we see it in him. So at the moment we’ve declined all offers.”
Vermes’ statement comes on the heels of an ESPN FC report that surfaced Friday claiming Juventus are “making progress” in signing the 16-year-old defender.
The report gained further interest when Sporting Club chief executive officer Robb Heineman confirmed later that evening that Juventus are in Orlando, Fla., scouting Palmer-Brown as Sporting KC continue preseason play at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic.
If a deal is to be met between the two parties, it will likely be to send the defender to Italy once he turns 18, which would be April of 2015. FIFA laws forbid the transfer of players under the age of 18 strictly for soccer purposes only.
What do you make of the Erik Palmer-Brown situation? Should Sporting KC hold onto the defender or take a Juventus offer? Let us know in the comments below.