Seattle Sounders fans may have bid adios to Fredy Montero in January when the team's all-time leading scorer headed to his native Colombia on loan, but that doesn't necessarily mean they've seen the last of him.
Montero revealed Thursday in an interview with FutbolMLS.com that although the possibility of heading to Europe remains once his loan with Colombian outfit Millonarios ends in December, a return to Seattle is not off the table.
Though an offer from the Portuguese league is reportedly on the table, Montero did not confirm or deny its existence, and explained that he could still return to Seattle when his loan expires in September.
"I don't know what will happen in the future," Montero, who has two years remaining on his Sounders, contract told FutbolMLS.com. "It's premature because we are in the middle of the group stages [of Colombia's playoffs] and it would not be professional on my part to say I'm thinking of another opportunity.
"If there is an offer and it suits everyone – Millonarios, MLS, myself – we will sit down and go over it when the championship is over, and if it doesn't work out, I'm very happy here and I am happy to see out my contract. If in December nothing comes up, the opportunity to return to Seattle is still there, and if tomorrow I had to go to MLS, I'd be happy to."
Montero also saved high praise for the city of Seattle and his fans.
"I miss Seattle and the fans very much," he enthused. "In four years, one adapts the lifestyle, the facilities, the close relationship I had with everyone on my team, and therefore it's in my heart to one day return to Seattle. I love the team, the city, and the fans very much."
The 25-year-old striker, who still holds Sounders all-time records for number goals (47), assists (34) and games played (119), among others, explained that his loan move was intended to bring him further into the Colombian national team picture and "closer to [manager] José Pekerman," but not everything has gone to plan.
After hitting two goals in his first five league games for Millonarios, he netted just once in his next 13 games, and was unable to find the back of the net in the Copa Libertadores play. He acknowledged that the challenge of integrating with his new team and the altitude in its home city of Bogotá (8,600 feet) made it difficult to adjust, but now he's finally getting the hang of things.
"Today we are doing so much better, the team is looser, and I'm scoring goals," Montero, whose scored twice in his last six games, explained. "It's a new look, an opportunity for me, and I'm thankful to Millonarios for opening their doors to me."
And with Colombia flying high in World Cup qualifying in South America, backed by a strong complement of strikers including Monaco star Falcao, are his chances of increasing his total of four caps for the national team any better?
"I would think the chances [of being called up] are the same [as when I was in MLS]," he explained. "I'm in the same situation because, beyond whatever league you're playing in, I believe you have to respect and value the had work the forwards on the national team are putting in, that they are very good and all play abroad."
With Montero in a holding pattern as far as his national team status goes and his loan expiring in six months, Seattle fans will be holding out hope that one of their heroes could someday make a return to the city he loves.