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Sounders Transfer Rumor: David Navarro may not be free, after all

Levante suggesting they can force the Sounders to pay Navarro's exit fee.

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

In case you didn't learn this after the whole Obafemi Martins-saga, Levante is again putting out reminders that signing a player out from under them is not something they appreciate. Although earlier reports had suggested that supposed Seattle Sounders transfer target David Navarro is out of contract after he and Levante mutually agreed to part ways, now comes word that the Spanish club is not about to let him go for free.

If the linked story is to be taken at face value, it would appear that Levante is especially unlikely to let Navarro go to the Sounders in particular, as they are apparently none too pleased with how the whole Martins transfer went down. Levante is apparently prepared to force the Sounders to pay Navarro's exit clause, which would almost surely make him unaffordable.

There are, of course, a few pertinent issues here. The first is figuring out if the Sounders are really even interested in Navarro. So far, the only real source for these rumors is something said on Spanish radio. Every story linking Navarro to the Sounders that I've seen has cited the same source, which leads me to believe that there is at least some reason to doubt its veracity.

Assuming the Sounders really are interested, they would still likely have to make room. All the reports suggest Navarro is looking to get about $300,000 a year, which is more than the Sounders can afford right now. Djimi Traore isn't going anywhere, so that basically means the Sounders would almost certainly have to trade either Patrick Ianni or Jhon Kennedy Hurtado in order to make room. Neither player is exactly a bargain right now, which suggests this may be a little easier said than done.

The final question is one we really have no way of answering right now: Can Levante even force to pay Navarro's exit fee? I don't know a lot about the particulars of Spanish contracts, but it would seem to me that if Navarro's option has already been passed on that Levante doesn't have much say in the matter. At the same time, I can't imagine that their sporting director is claiming to have the ability to stop a move, maybe it's not that simple.

Either way, I suspect this will take at least a couple more weeks to work itself out. The Sounders can't even add Navarro, or any other international, to the roster before the transfer window opens on July 9.

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