There's less than two weeks left on a loan contract with Norwich City, and the speculation about whether Sporting Kansas City winger and fan favorite Kei Kamara will stay in England or return to town has picked up.
Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes told Major League Soccer's website on Wednesday that he's been in contact with Kamara since going over to play in England's top league for the Canaries but hasn't pestered him about whether he'll return. Norwich City and Kamara have been mum to the press about their intentions after May 6.
That's the day when Kamara's loan agreement between Sporting Kansas City and Norwich City expires, at which point Norwich City has to agree to sign him on a permanent contract or release him back to Sporting Kansas City. And even if the latter happens, Kamara could find other clubs in pursuit.
"We'd take him back in a heartbeat, if that winds up being the situation," Vermes told mlssoccer.com. "But it's like I've said, there are a lot of suitors out there for him. So if it's not one, it could be another. Some of that discussion has to be with him as well, and I haven't had those discussions with him. But there are a lot of teams out there that are interested. So we're going to have to kind of evaluate those with him and make those decisions."
Other press reports speculate that Norwich City's decision on Kamara rests on whether the team remains in the English Premier League or gets relegated to a lesser league. For the uninitiated, the bottom three teams from the English Premier League every year get sent to a lower league while the top three finishers from that lower league replace the losers from the EPL.
Right now, Norwich City seems relatively safe from the drop zone, sitting in the No. 13 position in a 20-team league, more than two games ahead of No. 18 Wigan Athletic (former SKC midfielder Roger Espinoza's team). Norwich City has two games left after the May 6 deadline, one of which includes a final-week tilt against last year's EPL champion, Manchester City.
If Norwich's fortunes fall in its next couple of games and lurch closer to the possibility of going to English soccer's version of Triple-A baseball, it stands to reason that Norwich City may want to keep Kamara around to shore up its chances of sticking around in England's top league. They may want to anyway - Kamara has helped Norwich City since moving there in January, scoring a goal on February 23 and playing generally well since then.
Of course, Sporting Kansas City would welcome back an offensive threat to the lineup. While the club is one of Major League Soccer's best early on this season, most of Sporting's success can be ascribed to its stifling defense, not its misfiring offense.
The team has taken 111 shots so far this season, good for second in the MLS. But only 28 have been on target, and eight have actually resulted in goals. By comparison, the Montreal Impact has taken 61 shots and 30 of them are on frame, resulting in seven goals with two fewer games played so far than Sporting KC.