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June 27, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Sounders GM: Fredy Montero transfer ‘is not a rumor … but nothing is done.’

Reporters got a chance to catch up with Sounders FC general manager and part owner Adrian Hanauer during Thursday’s practice. The first issue brought up was reports that Sporting Lisbon of Portugal has agreed to buy forward Fredy Montero and is expected to sign him to a five-year contract.

Here was Hanauer’s response, with more to come as I transcribe:

*     *     *

(What can you say about Fredy’s situation?) “I will confirm it’s not a rumor. So I guess one of the very rare cases of being asked about various transfers over five years, this one is not a rumor. But nothing is done. We’ll obviously announce something if and when it happens.”

(Do you have a sense yet if there’s the possibility of getting allocation money out of this deal?) “I can’t really speak to it at this point. It’s a nuance to the MLS rules that I’m not comfortable, first, that I have my arms wrapped around and, second, that has ever been explored.”

(Have you agreed on a transfer price yet?) “The details of the transaction are, I would say, being finalized.”

(If it goes through, what does that mean to the roster? Does it create anything to you guys?) “Not unless … somehow there’s allocation money that falls out of this transaction.”

(How many parties are involved in this? And have you really been able to take the lead?) “There are a bunch of parties involved and, on any transfer, multiple parties have to agree and the player has to want to do it. The selling entity has to want to do it.”

(Would this be an ideal end-game at this point when it comes to your holding of his rights?) “I’m not sure there’s an ideal end-game. I love Fredy as a player and a person, and he’s been a very important part of the history of this club. 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. That’s all we’re focused on, so to some degree this transaction is somewhat on the periphery to that objective, because he’s not here on the team and he wasn’t going to be here on the team this year. So it sort of makes it independent of this.”

(What memories with Montero most stand out to you?) “For me, it’s a bit sentimental, because Chris Henderson and I spent a lot of time in Colombia and spent a lot of time scouting, spent time with Fredy and his representatives. Again, I feel like he was a kid when he got here. On the field, I’m not sure you’d ever say he was a kid, because as soon as he got here he was influential — scored the first goal in the history of the franchise, scored a lot of big goals and spectacular goals — and I guess 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, because 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.”

(Does this feel like it’s a potential good move for Fredy in terms of his situation and his aspirations?) “I wouldn’t want to put words in Fredy’s mouth. The Portuguese league is a good league in Europe. Sporting has played Champions League somewhat regularly, lot of visibility in the league, so again, I can’t get in the mind of Fredy to know. But certainly he’s not going to, no offense, the Swedish second division.”

(If the transaction doesn’t go through, what’s the Plan B? Back to Millonarios?) “Yeah, I suppose that yeah. He’s still under the control of Millonarios in that situation.”


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