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Sounders Admit Affinity For Ivica Olic, But Insist No Contract Discussions Taking Place

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Ivica Olic has scored goals at the highest levels of competition. Might he someday do that for the Seattle Sounders? (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Ivica Olic has scored goals at the highest levels of competition. Might he someday do that for the Seattle Sounders? (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

Croatian international Ivica Olic may be a player the Seattle Sounders are interested in, but that doesn't necessarily mean his arrival is imminent. In response to an Internet report that the Sounders were in "advanced conversations" with the current Bayern Munich forward, Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer had this to say in via email: "Ivica is a player who we like very much. But we have three Designated Players, and there are currently no contract discussions taking place."

Even assuming the Sounders are seriously considering signing Olic and were capable of creating the roster space for him, the soonest he would likely be able to join the team is in June when the summer transfer window opens. Olic is currently under contract through May, although it's worth noting that he's probably considered expendable and could be had without having to pay a transfer free.

The 32-year-old has been relegated to reserve duty this season, making all 14 of his Bundesliga appearances off the bench where he's still managed to score two goals. He also scored a goal for Croatia in Euro 2012 qualifying in November.

The last time Olic was a regular starter was his first season at Bayern Munich in 2009-10. That year, he played in 41 matches and made 33 starts across all competitions. He scored 19 goals and had seven assists.

Olic clearly has some high-level pedigree, appearing in well over 100 Bundesliga matches since 2007 and earning 76 caps for the Croatian national team.

This may all be getting a bit ahead of ourselves, though. As Hanauer noted, the Sounders have the maximum three Designated Players, all of whom have guaranteed contracts through this season. The only way they could clear the room is by moving one of those players, either via transfer or trade, as paying down the contracts of current players is no longer an option this season. While transferring or trading a DP is certainly possible, it is also much easier said than done. In some cases, it may also not guarantee an upgrade, as it's hard to see Olic being a better forward than Fredy Montero.