Fredy Montero is getting his dream move to Europe.
Sounders FC announced Monday that Montero is heading to Portugal’s Sporting Lisbon on loan, finalizing a transaction that had been expected for nearly a month.
Terms of the deal and the length of the loan weren’t disclosed per MLS and team policy, but Seattle noted in a news release that Sporting will have the option to buy Montero’s rights when the loan ends.
General manager Adrian Hanauer had confirmed such a deal was in the works on June 27, and Montero gave a goodbye interview following a July 9 Sounders practice.
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“That’s my dream coming true,” Montero said then of the prospects of playing in Europe. “I hope to do good there. I was waiting for this opportunity the past years, and it is here now. Hopefully I can enjoy the opportunity like I’ve done with my other ones in the past.”
Montero, the Sounders’ all-time leader in goals and assists, had been on loan with Colombia’s Millonarios since January, where he scored a team-high seven goals and participated in the prestigious Co pa Libertadores tournament in South America.
In Seattle, he was the 2009 MLS Newcomer of the Year and a three-time MLS All-Star, and the 25-year-old continues to hold several team records.
The loan deal, which is pending the receipt of Montero’s international clearance from Colombia, will table a prospective transfer for a while. The terms of the loan were reported by Portuguese media to be around $3.3 million, and that figure wasn’t expected to net the Sounders any allocation money, something Hanauer noted earlier this month, citing complicated MLS rules.
Allocation money can be used to spend in excess of the salary cap, though Seattle could still use cash from a future sale toward transfer fees, DP salaries, facilities and the academy system.
It is possible Montero’s price could go up if he does well in the coming season, but either way it won’t much affect the Sounders’ ongoing pursuit of an MLS Cup in the near term.
Seattle still has until Aug. 9 to sign international talent in the summer transfer window. Officials have indicated the team is in pursuit of a central defender and/or a central midfielder, but wholesale changes would be difficult due to salary-cap constraints.
Joshua Mayers: 206-464-3184 or firstname.lastname@example.org.