If a team wants to acquire Justin Meram from Columbus Crew SC, it’s going to take a substantial offer.
The 29-year-old winger reportedly wants out of Columbus and asked to be moved. Sam Stejskal of MLSSoccer.com reported that Meram wants a new challenge, although the potential club relocation to Austin played a factor in his decision.
But Meram won’t be moving as easily.
While talking with reporters on Saturday in regards to the Kamara trade, sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter discussed Meram’s situation with the club.
“Right now Justin is an important part of this team and my stance is very clear,” Berhalter said. “Unless we get an offer that’s going to significantly benefit the club, he’s not going to move. And that’s an important distinction. Any time a player asks to be traded, we have to evaluate the offer and we have to make sure it makes sense from a club standpoint. Because our job is to be a better team this year and that’s what we’re focused on. We would entertain something again if it’s going to strengthen our team and help us in the long run and that’s the only scenario we’d look to do something.”
Meram has spent all seven years as a professional with Crew SC after the club selected him 15th overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. In 188 appearances for the Black & Gold, Meram scored 37 goals and registered 33 assists.
The winger is coming off a career year where he had 13 goals and seven assists, helping Columbus reach the Eastern Conference Finals before falling one goal short of the MLS Cup Final.
The Portland Timbers, FC Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps and D.C. United all reportedly have interest in the Iraqi international, who could also move outside of Major League Soccer for the first time in his career.
If Crew SC do not receive an offer Berhalter and his staff deem acceptable, Meram would remain with the Black & Gold, who begin preseason on Wednesday, Jan. 24, after signing a new contract last season.