This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Is Real Salt Lake close to finalizing a deal for its newest No. 10? If statements from Dutch club FC Groningen are accurate, it would certainly seem so. On Tuesday, FC Groningen reported on its own website that RSL and the club have reached an agreement on a transfer fee for 22-year-old Slovakian attacking midfielder Albert Rusnák.
"There is only one possible transfer concretely and that is that of Albert Rusnák," the statement read through translation. "We have with Real Salt Lake reached an agreement on the transfer of Rusnák to the American MLS. Whether it actually comes to a transfer is now on the player and his management. We will wait and see how this will develop in the coming days."
"RSL chooses to withhold comment until personal terms are agreed upon with a player," said a club spokesman Tuesday.
Reports began surfacing last week linking RSL with Rusnák, who came up inside the Manchester City youth system in England. In 76 appearances in the Dutch Eredivisie, Rusnák has scored 12 goals. Before joining FC Groningen, he spent time on loan at Birmingham City, Oldham Athletic and SC Cambuur in the Netherlands.
While the RSL front office has yet to comment publicly on the potential deal, league sources told the Tribune last week that there was "significant interest" within the organization on Rusnák, who would be the immediate replacement in the vacated attacking midfield role after RSL and club legend Javier Morales split weeks after the 2016 season.
If RSL is able to finalize the transfer of Rusnák, it will have reportedly beat out the likes of Swansea City, Watford, AS Roma and fellow MLS side Seattle Sounders, all of whom were rumored to be interested in the dynamic young Slovakian midfielder.
Below is a highlight reel of Rusnák and his time at FC Groningen: