After being rumored for several weeks, Sporting CP finally exercised the purchase option in Fredy Montero's contract, meaning that Sporting is now the sole owner of his rights. Unlike the numbers that have floated around in recent weeks, the purchase option was relatively low, costing Sporting $1.55 million, with escalators in the deal totaling $1.75 million on top of that. That's certainly a great deal for Sporting, since they stand to make a nice profit in the next year or two if Montero continues to produce anywhere near the level that he did in the first half of the season.
At the same time, it's an awful deal for the Sounders. Although the club could eventually garner a total of $3 million if all the incentives in Montero's contract are met and after MLS, Deportivo Cali and Millonarios take their cuts, it's unlikely that will be enough to get a significant amount of allocation money for the Sounders, assuming nothing has changed with the way the league calculates allocation money from transfers since this post in July by Jeremiah, which operated under the assumption that the transfer deal was worth $3.25 million to $5 million. Since the most Sporting will have to pay, including incentives, is $4.5 million, it is reasonable to assume that nothing has changed as far as allocation money is concerned.
In Dave's post from July, Adrian Hanauer said that there was "almost no chance of getting allocation money". Hanauer went on to say that the actual money the Sounders received from the transfer fee could be re-invested into the club. That could mean more resources going to the youth academy, better technology to track player fitness, improved training facilities, better players and staff for a USL Pro team or just about any other soccer-related expense imaginable.
Although it's nice to have actual money for a player, the fact that it is much less than what Montero is now worth and that it is not accompanied by a significant amount of allocation money is unfortunate. The cash will come as little consolation to Sounders fans who were excited about the $10 million to $12 million figure that was recently reported in Portugal.
It's a bit crazy to think back to when the Sounders acquired Eddie Johnson prior to the 2012 season, knowing that he's the one that netted the maximum amount of allocation for the Sounders and Montero most likely won't net any allocation money for the team. If someone had told us at the time that would be the outcome for Seattle's striker duo, they would have been laughed off and possibly even ridiculed. That just goes to show how quickly things can change in this league.