Less than a week after claiming the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League title and being named as one of the Best Middle Blockers, Dmitriy Muserskiy is in advanced negotiations with the Suntory Sunbirds of the Japanese V-League. This would be the first time the Olympic gold medalist has ever played abroad. He has spent the last 10 seasons with Belogorie Belgorod.
In his time with Belogorie, Muserskiy has led them to a Russian Super League championship in 2013, a CEV Champions League title in 2014, and the FIVB Club World Championship title in 2014. The finished a disappointing 5th in the Russian Super League playoffs this last season and missed out the Champions League this upcoming year. They have brought in Nemanja Petric and John Perrin as their foreign reinforcements to help them get back on top of the standings next season.
While salaries in Asia are quite substantial, one draw for Muserskiy to Suntory is the opportunity to play opposite. Remember that he played opposite for Russia in the gold medal match of the 2012 Olympic Games after falling down 2-0 to Brazil. Belogorie also used him a bit as an opposite in 2015 after Gyorgy Grozer left the club.
While Suntory and Muserskiy are both reported to be interested, Belogorie still has a valid contract until the end of the 2020 season. There is a buy-out clause at 500,000 Euros, but the Japanese club are reported to not have that mount available in their budget.
Muserskiy is reportedly talking openly with Belogorie about his wishes to go to Japan and ply opposite. The hope is that the club will agree to lower the fee required to obtain the rights to the player. Belogorie is standing firm at this point, and the issue will be settled in the next two weeks.