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Albert Rusnak looks to be aiming for Europe move in short-term

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England v Slovakia - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

If you’ve been trying to keep up with the Albert Rusnak transfer saga, you just got a piece of some fairly juicy interviewing from Fox Sports Netherlands.

Rusnak, who was interviewed in English, seemed to indicate that he was on his way out of Real Salt Lake. The video below is in English, but there’s also a transcript below that. We’ll have some words to follow.

Life’s good. I’m a little bit further away, but you never know. I’m sure one day I’ll be back in Europe.

Yes?

Yes.

In Holland?

Maybe. (grinning)

Do you have plans?

I mean, you know, you can never plan as a football player what you’re going to do, because the football life is strange, it comes out of nowhere, and the next day you move. There’s nothing in my head, but I definitely do want to come back to Europe.

For next season?

That’s a tricky question, because the way I answer it, it’s going to be all over the media in America.

You have to be honest?

I’ll just give this expression, OK? I’ll just skip this question, OK? (winks.)

Ed. Note: I heard this wrong the first time, and I think the non-struck-through read is the right one. Whoops.

Alright.

Let’s talk.

Albert Rusnak is under contract, but as we know, the contract in modern football is largely a bargaining chip, not a contractual obligation to play at a club. Though Rusnak has multiple years left on his, he holds a superb amount of negotiating power simply because he’s good. If Rusnak decides to act out in a way that disrupts the squad — and it’s hard to say that talking about being happy to leave doesn’t do just that — then it gives him the power.

You know what we used to talk about? No player being bigger than the club. It was the thing we preached on high, and it was a truly substantial part of our identity. The Team is the Star. I’m not saying we’re not there, but you know what? Players talking actively and openly about wanting to move to Europe is the furthest thing from that attitude.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though. Albert Rusnak is a player that we signed knowing he wanted to get back to Europe. But are we supposed to smile and wave as he runs away as quickly as he can? Hardly. Playing just 18 months at Real Salt Lake, as it’s looking likely he will, is treating us as nothing more than a stepping stone. “Next season” in Europe starts in, what, July? He’d want to be at a club for preseason.

He acts worried about the media talking about how he answers a question, but that wink and grin? We’ll give as good as we get, but I really don’t think he cares about that. Talking about his unhappiness furthers his end of returning to the heights of European football, and maybe that’s a noble goal, I guess. But right now, at this very moment, he’s a Real Salt Lake player, and this roguish attitude simply doesn’t sit well with me.

I’m sorry, Albert, but Salt Lake City isn’t going to grin while you talk about how happy you are to be away from this terrible place.