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Rumor update: Were Sounders targeting Venezuela international?

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As the winter transfer window gets closer to closing, we try zeroing down on leads about a potential

Christian Santos (center) was apparently a Sounders target.
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It appears the Seattle Sounders were at least interested in a Venezuelan striker for a TAM-level signing that could have joined before the close of the transfer window. Less than three weeks ago, I received a call from source telling me there were a few MLS teams interested in Christian Santos and one of those teams was Seattle. Naturally the rumor of a Venezuelan striker currently at Deportivo Alaves — who scored 16 goals in the Eredivisie just two years ago — was intriguing, especially considering it’s well known that Sounders VP of Soccer and Sporting Director Chris Henderson is fond of scouting La Liga.

Extending my research on the player, I found out Santos has been relegated to the bench since his arrival in Spain in 2016 and often, has not even been considered to be part of the 18 for the Babazorros. Even after Abelardo Fernandez took over Deportivo Alaves at the beginning of the year, the forward’s circumstances have not changed. Santos has less than 500 minutes played in all competitions this season, scoring three goals in that time.

Broadly speaking, Santos’ situation follows the pattern of recent Sounders signings as well as trialist like Diego Capel, as the rave green has been known for giving players the opportunity to redeem their careers by focusing in the player’s skills and how he may fit in the lineup. Santos is a strong 6-foot striker, with a good midrange shot and has excellent field awareness. His current drop in goal production is an effect of lack of play time but was impressive in the Netherlands with NEC. In two years there he scored 41 goals across all competitions, one season of which was spent in the second division.

In addition, when you are dealing with a player who Is not getting playing time his price tag can significantly drop, making the 11-time capped Venezuelan a perfect target, or so it appeared.

After several days I was able to get in contact with Santos’ agent. Although he was unable to name the specific teams that were interested in his client, Norman Capuozzo did confirm MLS teams have been in contact with him,

“A few months ago one of them actually began negotiations with Deportivo Alaves,” the agent said. “But at the end, both clubs were unable to agree to terms.”

However, Capuozzo did not dismiss the possibility of negotiations resuming with one of the other teams, “Alaves has some terms they are requiring teams interested to agree on, but something can still get done with an MLS team, I am aware of when the MLS window closes, and it could happen if the right team comes along.”

Sticking to my source, I have no reason to doubt that the Sounders were one of the teams interested in Santos. At this points there are no on going negotiations for the player but it is a possibility. I will continue to oversee in case there are any developments.