UPDATE: Asked about the Raul Ruidiaz rumors following Saturday’s win, head coach Brian Schmetzer essentially confirmed an ongoing pursuit of the player.
On the Ruidíaz rumors: “Obviously can’t comment on players not under contract with the club. Deals haven’t been finalized yet. Whether it’s him or another similar player, it’s nice.”— Sounder At Heart (@sounderatheart) June 10, 2018
Raúl Ruidíaz appears to be a little closer to formally signing with the Seattle Sounders, various reports out of Peru have suggested. Most notably, Arroba TV is citing “relatives” as saying Ruidíaz has been sent a formal offer. Another report from Todo Sport claims the transfer would cost the Sounders about $5 million and that Ruidíaz would be paid an annual salary of $3 million per year, which would make him the team’s highest paid player.
There is one bit of caution, though. The Todo Sport report claims the contract contains a clause that would allow Ruidíaz to accept an offer from Europe if one were to materialize after the World Cup. Considering no such offer apparently exists now, that Ruidíaz will soon be 28, and he isn’t expected to start at the World Cup, the clause may be of little consequence.
Even if Ruidíaz were to sign a deal now, the absolute soonest he’d be able to join the Sounders is after the summer transfer window opens on July 10. The Sounders’ first match after that is on July 15 at Atlanta United. But even for that to happen, it would likely require Peru to be eliminated either in the group stage or Round of 16. More likely, the Sounders will elect to give Ruidíaz some time off after the World Cup, considering he just finished a full season with Morelia on May 6 and then basically went straight to pre-World Cup camp. The Sounders’ home match against New York City FC on July 29 seems like a more reasonable target date to see Ruidíaz debut.