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Sounders pointedly don't deny Didier Drogba rumors

When asked for comment, Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer responds "It is a rumor."

Mike Hewitt

Anytime a rumor gains a certain amount of momentum, it is our duty as reporters to seek comment even though we are fairly certain we won't get much. The Didier Drogba-to-Seattle Sounders rumor reached that unofficial threshold earlier today.

Here's what Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer said: "It is a rumor."

Simple. Non committal. Safe.

The question is, does it tell us anything? We can never know for sure until something is finalized, but this one seems to purposefully leave a lot of wiggle room.

What it most definitely is not is a full-throated denial. This is probably most similar to the rumors from back in 2011 that Diego Forlan might be interested in coming to Seattle. Back then, Hanauer called the rumors "flattering, but just talk." That seemed to be a pretty clear indication that nothing was happening.

On the other end of the spectrum was Sigi Schmid's comments after the Clint Dempsey rumor started to pick up. He told KJR that "Right now, there's nothing really to it." People obviously picked up on the "right now" part and, as it turns out, that wasn't even being fully honest as the Dempsey deal was basically finished at that point.

I guess what I'm saying is that the Sounders obviously stopped well short of feeding the rumor mill. At the same time, they seem to be perfectly happy to let this play out a bit longer. In the middle of preseason, what do they have to gain by shooting down a rumor that is going to bring them a lot of attention?

At the very least, I think it says something that we can even pretend that this is a remotely plausible scenario.

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