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Roland Alberg headed to Europe?

Here’s why Alberg may or may not be leaving the Philadelphia Union.

Philadelphia Union vs Chicago Fire Photo Gallery Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

A report on English soccer (sorry - football) website Sport Witness indicates that both Queens Park Rangers and Reading FC of England’s Championship are interested in purchasing Roland Alberg from the Philadelphia Union. The site cites Alberg’s agent Justin Stone as saying that in addition to QPR and Reading, Turkey’s Rizespor and the Bundesliga’s SV Darmstadt 98 are interested in Alberg as well.

Why this will happen

Alberg has seemed like the odd man out for his career in Philadelphia. He was a bench option behind Tranquillo Barnetta last season, and with the addition of Alejandro Bedoya it appeared that Alberg could take over the 10 with Bedoya at the 8. But while Bedoya was serviceable at the 8 he wasn’t spectacular, and the Union have been clear in their intent on bringing in a bona fide 8, which means that Alberg would most likely be an expensive backup behind a franchise player.

Alberg had a decent enough season stats-wise to draw the interest of teams as well, and the rumored amount of $2 million transfer fee would be an easy decision for the Union to part with Alberg. Alberg was also rumored to be moving to QPR back in 2015 when he was with ADO Den Haag, so he’s not completely unknown to these teams.

Why this won’t happen

Because on the surface, there’s no reason any of these clubs would be interested in Alberg - especially at $2 million. MLS is not a league that sees its players picked up by Championship teams very often, and although it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility, it does seem highly unlikely what was essentially a bench option. For context, Tim Ream was sold to Bolton (when they were still in the Premier League) for around $3 million. He was a starter with the New York Red Bulls when he was sold, and a bit younger than Alberg (Ream was 24 when he left New York, Alberg is 26).

The Union did not respond to an initial request for comment, as they are currently en route to training camp in Florida.