TUKWILA, Wash. — Fredy Montero’s transfer to Sporting Clube de Portugal is in the process of being finalized, the Seattle Sounders confirmed on Thursday.
“It’s not a rumor,” Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer told reporters on Thursday. “But nothing is done. We’ll obviously announce something if and when it happens.”
If the transfer goes through, the Sounders would relinquish Montero’s MLS rights. They would, however, be entitled to a portion of the transfer fee, part of which could come in the form of allocation dollars that teams can use to pay down the salary-budget hit of other players.
The size of the transfer fee is still unknown and Hanauer also indicated that the portion of any transfer fee that could be used as allocation money by the club would need to be explored.
MLS36: Behind the scenes with Fredy Montero
Montero first came to the Sounders during their inaugural MLS season of 2009 on a loan from Colombia’s Deportivo Cali. Seattle made it a full transfer before the 2011 season, while also making the then 23-year-old one of the youngest Designated Players in league history.
Montero was instrumental in helping Seattle win three straight US Open Cup titles and advance to four straight finals. He also scored 47 goals and had 34 assists, among the highest totals of any MLS player during his four-year stint.
For all his MLS accolades, though, Montero didn’t seem to move any closer to breaking into the Colombian national team or fulfilling his dream of playing for a major club in Europe, two of the reasons given for his loan to Millonarios.
Montero scored just seven goals across 32 games in all competitions during his six-month stay in Colombia, but this move to one of Portugal’s “Tres Grandes” would appear to keep his career on an upward trajectory.
“I love Fredy as a player and a person, and he’s been a very important part of the history of this club,” Hanauer said. “There was certainly an option, and there could always be an open door down the line, but it’s football, it’s soccer, this is the way it goes. Players come and go, and ultimately what we have to focus on is trying to win a championship this year. ...
“I’m proud that he was a big part of the franchise and that he developed into a really good young man while he was here,” Hanauer continued. “We want to win soccer games, develop soccer players and develop good young men, which, again, is why the door is always open and you never know. Lamar Neagle is a good example of a guy who seems to have nine lives with the Sounders, goes away, comes back, goes away, comes back.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.