KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Former Sporting Kansas City midfielder and academy product Gianluca Busio is heading to European football and has agreed to terms with newly promoted Serie A-side Venezia FC.
During Sporting Kansas City’s 0-0 draw with the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Busio shared a short message with fans as he departs for the top flight of Italian soccer.
“Hello everyone, I just wanted to give a quick thank you to all the Sporting fans out there who have supported me throughout my career. Thank you for making this such a special experience and Kansas City will always have a place in my heart,” Busio said.
The deal is worth $6 million, but could be worth up to $10.5 million with incentives.
Busio rose to stardom over the last few seasons with Sporting, including his 2021 campaign that saw him take over the No. 10 role and control the midfield for the second-place team in the Western Conference.
The 19-year-old has long been rumored with a move overseas, specifically to Italy where he has citizenship.
His mother took to social media as well to thank Kansas City for embracing a 14-year-old from North Carolina when he joined the SKC Academy in 2016.
Busio debuted with the United State men’s national team in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup where he helped the US win the championship match 1-0 over Mexico.
He debuted for Sporting on July 28, 2018 at the age of 16.
Venezia FC earned their promotion to Italy’s top-flight after 19 years in the lower divisions.
Busio will join fellow MLS-product and American Tanner Tessmann who joined the Italian club from FC Dallas earlier in the summer.
The Venice-based club will debut in the 2021-2022 season on August 22 on the road against Napoli.