By Siobhan Nolan, Contributing Writer
Union All-Star left back Kai Wagner has requested a move to Europe during this upcoming January transfer window.
Wagner was quoted as saying to Manuel Veth of Transfermarkt, “I want to make the step to Europe in January. I want to prove to myself that I can play [in] Europe; I am honest enough to say that I want to do it now. I also want to be closer to the family.”
The German left-back signed a contract with the Union that would keep him in Philadelphia through the 2022 season, with a club option in 2023. However, Wagner has recognized how much his worth has skyrocketed since first signing with the Union, and wants a position in European soccer to reflect that increased price tag.
Wagner was one of the numerous players that Union sporting director Ernst Tanner signed under the radar that ended up being explosive, playing a significant role in the Union’s squad. He was first acquired from the Wurzburger Kickers in February 2019 for a measly $303,000, but it’s being reported that Wagner is now valued somewhere close to $3.3 million.
“Today, everybody would laugh about the small fee that Tanner paid to sign me,” Wagner said. “At the time, though, it was a difficult step. And I had to jump over my own shadow. But the talks with Ernst Tanner and Jim Curtin helped me make my decision, and once I knew that my family was on board, the decision [to come to the Union] was made very quickly.”
While nothing is concrete yet, it looks as though the Union might be in the market for another left-back soon.