Fredy Montero going to Sporting Lisbon, but it will start as a loan

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Montero will remain Sounders property for at least a little longer, but Sporting CP has an option to buy.

Fredy Montero is officially set to join Portugal's Sporting CP. But after weeks of reports suggesting it would be in the form of a straight transfer, the Seattle Sounders announced on Monday that it would start off as a loan with an option to buy.

This latest twist could help explain why this deal had been delayed after Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer suggested it was essentially done as far back as June 27. It might also suggest that the Sounders are holding out some hope that Montero can perform well enough that he'd garner a transfer fee large enough to net the team some allocation money.

As Hanauer explained on the latest episode of Nos Audietis, the Sounders would not get any allocation money until all of Montero's transfer fee and money he was paid above the max-salary cap hit was recouped. Montero's transfer fee would then likely need to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million in order for the Sounders to receive allocation.

This is, of course, speculation on my part and the reality could be more straightforward.

The other possibility is that the delay was simply a product of Montero needing to finish his physical and/or that Sporting CP is unwilling or unable to pay the previously reported transfer fee of about $3.25 million. As good as Montero was with the Sounders, he was not nearly as good during his loan to Millonarios, failing to score a single goal in five Copa Libertadores. Lisbon may just be making sure that the Colombian adapts to Europe before spending a hefty amount of money.

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