I’ve been told by our UK friends that The Daily Mail cannot be trusted. One described it to me as a “shite rag,” so there’s your disclaimer as I share this recent story about Philadelphia Union All-Star fullback Kai Wagner:

First of all, the headline is 38 words. They have told us the entire story already. There is no reason to go any further.

But “cheap left back?” Disrespectful! Fuck outta here with that. Wagner is worth more than three million. He’s the Union’s best player, he is the best left back in Major League Soccer, and quite possibly also the best outside back in the league. He is the best fullback to ever play for the U.

Maybe this is the agent getting some tabloid to put Kai’s name out there. Leeds United is indeed interested, and Jim Curtin knows their manager, who is fellow American Jesse Marsch:

Leeds needs a LB and Kai is good enough to play for them, but he’s so important to the Union that they just cannot sell him until the winter. He is third in MLS with 11 assists and crucial to what Philly does. He bangs in crosses, takes set pieces, and defends like a maniac. You can’t transfer this guy until you make a run at the cup this year.

Kai’s contact does expire at the end of the season, but there’s a 2023 team option. I don’t know if Leeds can wait that long, but the best case scenario for the Union here is to keep Kai until the next window opens, exercise his team option, then ask Leeds or another team for $5 million, and no less. Think of it like an NBA sign and trade. Wagner turns 26 in February, so he’s not Brenden Aaronson or Christian Pulisic going to Europe at a super-young age, but letting him go now for $3 million would be bad business for the Union.