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Sounders negotiating with one of Liga MX’s top scorers, agent confirms

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Raul Ruidiaz could be close to finalizing a deal with Sounders.

Soccer: International Friendly Soccer-Peru at Iceland Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

After a bleak winter transfer window in regards of signings, Garth Lagerwey is back at the negotiating table as he attempts to sign Peruvian international Raul Ruidiaz. This has been confirmed by the player’s agent, David Pezua, who has told me they are in the final stages of negotiation. Ruidiaz and Club Monarcas have reportedly already agreed with most of the terms. However, as is usual with developing stories, nothing is official until an agreement is reached by all parties involved.

Sounders Sporting Director Chris Henderson has been scouting the talented 27-year-old striker for about a year. It is my understanding that he has personally attended several of Ruidiaz’s games, both with the Peruvian National Team and with Morelia, a typical practice when seriously pursuing a player.

Ruidiaz is a high motor, physical striker who was Liga MX’s leading scorer in the 2017 Clausura and has scored 20 goals in each of the past two seasons with “La Monarquia.” He is the type of proven player a Sounders team that has more shutouts (8) than goals (7) could urgently use. Getting a player from Liga MX is never a simple task; I speculate this transfer would cost about $4 to 5 million and would likely make the Peruvian the team’s highest paid player.

According to US.as.com, the only thing that would stop the deal from being completed is if a European suitor came in with a bigger offer, which is not considered likely. The Spanish outlet is also reporting that this deal would be for three years with an option for a fourth year.

It is currently unclear if the Sounders had to acquire his Discovery Rights from another team, since Ruidiaz has been linked to New York City FC in the past. At least we know the Sounders are not taking this transfer window lightly and are hitting it with full force, with all indications being that Ruidiaz is not the only player this team is pursuing.

The one downside to this signing would be that Ruidiaz will be with Peru at the World Cup, meaning he’s unlikely to be available before August. Peru is in a group with Denmark, France and Australia.