Sporting Kansas City are close to signing midfielder Roger Espinoza, according to a report by the Kansas City Star, as English Championship side Wigan Athletic have agreed to mutually terminate the final six months of the Honduran’s contract.
Espinoza was a near-MLS Best XI selection during the 2012 season, the year he starred for Sporting KC, and Honduras at the 2012 Olympics, where he earned huge praise and draw interest from around Europe based on his man-of-the-match performance against Brazil.
The move to Wigan came to fruition the following winter as Espinoza’s contract with Sporting ran out. Because he left Major League Soccer on a free transfer and was presented with what the league deems a “bona fide offer,” Sporting retained his rights upon any potential return to MLS.
On Tuesday, Espinoza spoke glowingly of everyone at Wigan, thanking those involved for facilitating his exit. Via Wigan Today:
“It’s been a great two years here, but I took the decision not too long ago. You could see it kind of coming, it’s time for me to look somewhere else.
“There’s been a lot of changes going on with the team and managers, and obviously that’s been tough both for me and some other players. I decided it was time, I spoke to some of the directors here, they all did their best to help me and I thank them for that.”
Sporting manager Peter Vermes has said for weeks he’d like bring Espinoza back to Kansas City, but only on a free transfer since Espinoza left Sporting for free in January 2013. Otherwise, Vermes was willing to wait out the final six month’s of the contract and sign the 28-year-old in the summer.
In agreeing his release in January, Espinoza not only benefits from an entire preseason spent with Sporting, but also a short period of rest from the start of January until training camp opens on Jan. 23.