Earlier this season, Perry Kitchen's agent Lyle Yorks said that Kitchen was drawing interest from European club teams in Belgium, Denmark and Germany, and that conversations with teams in the first two countries came from Champions League teams. Now there's the chance that Italy may have thrown their interest into the mix:
Loosely translated, Lazio may be kicking the tires on Kitchen. Before we get ahead of ourselves too much, the comment was made on Eurosport France, apparently during the broadcast of Sunday's D.C. United game with the New York Red Bulls. So we've got a comment in French, about an American player who's garnering interest from an Italian team. Got it?
With the obligatory grains of salt out of the way, the thing that gives mild pause is that the comment was made by a Jerome Meary. Meary is part of a group called the Elite Athletes Corp., who has brought over a variety of French players, or players in French Leagues, to Major League Soccer, including Philadelphia Union players Fernando Aristiguieta and Vincent Nogueira, Toronto FC players Benoit Cheyrou and Damien Perquis, and Red Bull defender Ronald Zubar. They apparently also helped bring over a little known player to the Montreal Impact, some dude named Didier Drogba. Along with finding players for MLS, they also appear to be branching out to finding European Leagues for MLS players who have such aspirations.
This doesn't change Kitchen's status with the club; he is (according to Grant Wahl) in the last year of his contract, and they would have to have him sign a contract to garner a transfer fee if he did proceed with going to wherever he wants in Europe, or if he did leave and wish to return to MLS, D.C. would hold right of first refusal, assuming D.C. met the 'attempted, but were unable, to re-sign' criteria when Kitchen's contract expires.
We'll continue to update as we learn about them, but before anything else, hopefully Kitchen turns in a performance on Sunday that will help get him the best possible deal, regardless of where it may be.