The tweetosphere is all atwi...abuzz with rumors of one Fredy Montero of Seattle Sounders FC and where he will be in 2013. Removing those that completely fail the sniff test (Cali, Junior), there are three that are either so voluminous and/or plausible that they are worthy of my shameless rumor-mongering. I will address each individually. Please note, as a non-journalist, I am (unlike Dave, Jeremiah, et al) completely unbound by such things as "journalistic integrity", "thorough research" and "facts". This is just good old obsessive rumor-mongering by a Sounder who can't wait for the 2013 season to begin.
1) Fredy Montero to Millonarios of Colombia
This is probably the most wide-spread and tweeted-about of the rumors. Millos, as they are frequently called, are searching for a goal-scorer and the allure of a Colombian "crack" like Fredy Montero is an obvious fit. He has been mentioned as a Millos target previously...but this feels a bit different - a bit more serious.
Why it is plausible: Millonarios just won the Colombian championship, which means they have gained entry to Copa Libertadores. This is probably the pinnacle competition available to a Colombian club, save possibly the Club World Cup - and the only path to the latter is through the former. If there were ever a good reason for a Colombian team to spend big bucks to stockpile firepower, the Copa Libertadores is it. Millos are rumored to have just sold CB Roman Torres, whose transfer value is estimated by transfermkt at around $1.2M US, to Palmeiras of Sao Paulo. A tweet yesterday mentioned that Millonarios "just" made $1.2xx million dollars (can't remember the exact figure). The two seem to be obviously related...but complicating matters is the fact that they just won the championship last night. I don't know if there is a money prize for that or not. They are also to be one of four teams in the Emirates Cup along with Beijing Guoan, Arsenal and Hamburg. I am assuming that there is a sizable payment involved. Lastly, Montero has made no secret about his desire to get back into the Colombian National Team - and this move would likely help. With a World Cup in South America rapidly approaching, that desire surely is developing some urgency. The rumor is being tweeted by sports journalists and not just fans. It has also been mentioned in a radio show and in print (though usually as a rumor). I have yet to find the interview (and probably don't speak sufficient Spanish to understand it) - but Hernan Torres, boss of Millos, supposedly confirmed their interest in Montero personally.
Why it is improbable: We need one of two things to happen to make a Montero sale make any sense: His sale price must be high enough to garner maximum allocation $$s (a transfer fee or around $4M?) or we must have an upgrade lined up and ready to go (someone big like a Verdu). Colombian teams have typically been the sellers rather than the buyers of high priced players like Fredy Montero. In order to garner allocation from the sale, it is my understanding that we would need $4M or so...the very high end of Montero's assessed value. Lastly, Colombian media culture seems to be much quicker to embrace and trumpet a rumor. An example with which we are all familiar is the departure of Alvaro Fernandez. According to Colombian media on a Saturday, he was to report for duty in Colombia on Monday. That obviously never happened.
2) Fredy Montero to Monterrey of La Liga MX
This one is much more of a fan generated and bounced rumor. It has, however, been cirulcated enough that it is worth mentioning.
Why this is plausible: Monterrey has paid a truly high fee for a player before...something on the order of $5M for Humberto Suazo. While Montero's numbers aren't as impressive as Suazo's were, he is roughly the same age as Suazo was (entering his prime) and the MLS is (arguably) a better league than the Chilean league. Suazo is 31 now and on the outs and the Rayados are looking for reinforcements. La Liga MX is currently the best league in North America and a much better league that the Colombian league. Success there would definitely get a national team coach's attention. Lastly, they have seen Fredy and he has seen them. It's hard not to be impressed when watching Montero.
Why this is improbable: All these rumors have been twitter-noise. I have yet to see any article quoting a Monterrey official. We might hesitate to send Fredy to a team we could face in the knockout rounds next year.
3) Fredy to Chievo Verona of Serie A
This may sound like deja vu...it did to me. We all heard of the Italian side's reported interest this summer. A trip to Verona certainly didn't do Micheal Bradley's career any harm.
Why this is plausible: Chievo has expressed interest in Montero before. They are only 7 points out of the drop zone, and 11 points out of contention for a UEFA spot. A good acquisition could make a real difference. Though this one is less tweeted about, there is a print article mentioning it (including a quote from Chris Henderson): http://www.firenzeviola.it/?action=read&idnotizia=125822 (in Italian). They presumably can afford him. This isn't the first time we've heard this one...sometimes these things are slow developing.
Why this is implausible: We've heard this one before..sometimes these things are just noise...or recycled noise. The article seems as though it's really asking Chris about rumors from the summer rather than current rumors. It specifically mentions that there was never an actual offer. There is very little twitter traffic regarding this one. It just doesn't feel very solid.
All three of the above are now seemingly aware of each other. Perhaps they will launch each other into a twitter-fueled bidding frenzy. Who knows what will happen. I am certain that Fredy would be happy to stay here in Seattle. I, for one, would be happy to have him stay. Hi is a Sounder. Now and always. It is not unthinkable, however, that it might be his time for a move. The team's cap situation, his age, and his desire to play for his national team all could point in that direction. Time will tell. The silly season is underway.