Columbus Crew hit impasse in contract talks with Ola Kamara - sources
Negotiations on a contract extension between Columbus Crew SC and forward Ola Kamara have stalled, multiple sources have told ESPN FC.
Kamara, 27, has been one of the league's most consistent scorers since arriving from Austria Wien prior to the 2016 campaign. He is currently tied for fifth in MLS with 12 goals this season, and his 28 goals over the past two campaigns rank him tied for third alongside Toronto FC's Sebastian Giovinco.
Kamara is in the second season of a four-year contract, so his current deal has some time left to run. But one source said that there were multiple offers from foreign teams during the just concluded summer transfer window, and that Kamara will explore moves away from MLS after the conclusion of the current season.
According to data provided by the MLS Players Union, Kamara's guaranteed compensation this season is $482,500.
Reached by telephone, Crew SC manager Gregg Berhalter told ESPN FC: "Ola is an important part of the team, we're happy with his performance, and we hope to keep him here for a long time."
He declined further comment.
This is not the first time that Columbus has had to deal with a productive forward who is angling for a better deal. The Crew signed Kei Kamara to a contract extension after reaching the 2015 MLS Cup final, a campaign that saw him finish in the top three for the league's MVP award.
Midway through the 2016 campaign Kei Kamara had a falling out with teammate Federico Higuain, and the breakdown in relations ultimately saw him traded to New England later that season. No two situations are identical of course, but Columbus will no doubt be reluctant to part with a player who has been so effective.
The Oslo native broke into Stabaek's first team as a 16-year-old back in 2006. He went on to have spells with Honefoss, Stromsgodset, SV Ried, 1860 Munich, and Molde. At international level, Kamara has made seven appearances for Norway, scoring one goal.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.