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Sevilla midfielder still in play for Sounders

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Seattle convinced Hiroshi Kiyotake’s agent that MLS is the right move, according to MLSItalia.com.

Japan v Saudi Arabia - 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

Despite indications from Seattle Sounders President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey that his club would wait for final word on Clint Dempsey’s health before signing a Designated Player, that doesn’t mean they’ve entirely stopped looking. Word comes via MLSItalia.com that Hiroshi Kiyotake’s agent will try to convince the player to make the move to Seattle.

Currently at Sevilla FC in Spain, the Japanese attacking midfielder moved from Hannover 96 in the summer of 2016. In September, Lagerwey indicated Kiyotake chose the Spanish power over the Sounders.

But despite troubles seeing the field for Sevilla, (nine appearances in all competitions, one goal, one assist) Kiyotake remains part of Japan’s World Cup Qualifying roster. He scored a penalty kick in their last match, against fellow AFC power Saudi Arabia, and another penalty in a friendly against Oman in November. Both appearances were starts.

Hiroshi was more successful with Hannover, where he scored five goals with six assists in 21 games in the 2014/15 season. He had two injuries that slowed his year. In 2013/14 he made 32 appearances with five goals and five assists. Many of the rumors surrounding him have suggested he was interested in a move back to Germany, most notably with Hertha Berlin. That move hasn’t materialized.

He is 27, which fits a signing profile for a team trying to maximize its trophy window while built around Nicolas Lodeiro (also 27). The Sounders currently have a DP slot open according to Lagerwey, but it would cost a large amount of Targeted Allocation Money or a reworking of Osvaldo Alonso’s contract to make a splash during the primary transfer window, ending in early May. A signing in the secondary window would save TAM and lessen the cap hit in year one.