It has now been nearly four days since an Italian website suggested Keisuke Honda could be signing with the Seattle Sounders “imminently.” Suffice it to say, those reports were, at the very least, a bit overblown.
Since then, however, it has been pretty well established that the Sounders are at least interested in the Japanese star. One of the holdups appears to be the complicated ownership situation at AC Milan, and now it appears we’re not quite as close to that being resolved as was previously expected.
In the meantime, though, Sounders GM Garth Lagerwey was asked about Honda on the record for the first time.
“Obviously I read the paper,” Lagerwey told reporters on Tuesday. “Believe it or not I read most of what you guys write or talk about on TV. I see the rumors, see the links. We obviously aren't in a position to talk about a player that is under contract to another team, and I don't see that changing. I'll leave it at that.”
There are two things here. One of them is his stated reluctance to talk about players who are under contract elsewhere. That phrase happens to appear on this handy alert system Likkit created last year. The system would be at the “elevated” level.
More seriously, Lagerwey did give us a hint as to when this might all be resolved when he said “I don’t see that changing” in reference to Honda being under contract. Taken literally, Lagerwey seems to be suggesting that AC Milan isn’t about to let Honda out of his contract before it expires in the summer, as the club’s CEO has stated.
As usual, things can always change and the Sounders have until May 8 to get a deal done that would allow Honda to suit up before the summer. Right now, it’s probably best to assume any move is going to have to wait.