It looks like it's time to fire up the Joan Verdu-to-Seattle Sounders transfer rumor, again. According to Inside Spanish Football, the Espanyol midfielder expects the Sounders to make another bid for him with the aim being a January transfer. That's not necessarily hard to believe, being as the Sounders have previously acknowledged an interest, but it's hard to get too excited over this rumor.
Why? The 29-year-old makes it very clear that his preference is to remain with Espanyol, despite the fact they are mired at the bottom of La Liga's table and are very much in danger of being relegated. Through 14 matches, they have just 10 points.
Mostly, this all seems like a ploy to put some pressure on Espanyol to give him his long-awaited contract extension. This is the final year on his deal and from all indications, he was using the Sounders' interest as a bargaining chip when this came up prior to Espanyol's season beginning.
He does throw Sounders fans a bone, though, by saying he would consider a move if he was presented with a "good offer." What does that mean, exactly? Who knows. The previous rumor was that he was offered a contract worth about $10 million. That wasn't enough to even entice him to visit. Considering he's in the middle of his season and still hasn't come to Seattle for a formal tour of the facilities, one imagines the Sounders aren't inclined to dramatically increase that offer just so he can turnaround and use it for the purposes of working out a deal with Espanyol.
The likelihood of the move aside, it's at least understandable that the Sounders would be interested. Verdu is already off to a very good start, with four goals and two assists in the young season. He's also relatively young and by all indications the kind of player who could excel in a more physical league like MLS.
But just making room for Verdu would also require quite a bit of moving parts on the Sounders' end. First off, they'd need to clear space by moving one of their Designated Players. That most likely would have to be Fredy Montero, as they play very similar roles anyway. I suppose it's not inconceivable that the Sounders could instead move Christian Tiffert, but that would require a bit more drastic of a rethinking about the way the team lines up.
In any case, I'd put this in the interesting but highly unlikely pile. We've been down this road before and Verdu really isn't changing anything he's said previously.