Things appear to be lining up for the Seattle Sounders to add a TAM player before the summer transfer window closes on Aug. 8. The latest rumor — and possibly the most promising — is one coming out of Europe that suggested the Sounders are in negotiations with Peru international Paolo Hurtado. Sounder at Heart’s Niko Moreno has independently confirmed the discussions through a source close to Club Alianza Lima, who were Hurtado’s first professional team and possibly still own all or part of his rights.
The attacking midfielder is currently on loan to Portugal’s Vitória Guimarães SC, but is apparently in Peru, despite his team starting preseason, in an attempt to force a move.
The reports come at the same time as Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer was telling KJR about ongoing negotiations with an unnamed attacking player.
Schmetzer says, "We're still in talks with another attacking piece in this window."— Ryan Krasnoo (@RyanKras) July 24, 2018
Throw it all together and it sure seems like there’s plenty of reason to think this is all more than plausible.
So what kind of player is Hurtado? He’s about to turn 28; coming off a career year in which he scored 15 goals with seven assists in about 2,200 minutes (all competitions); and a member of Peru’s World Cup team, where he made one 27-minute appearance. Most of Hurtado’s best play has come as a No. 10, but he’s also got a fair amount of experience playing on either wing.
The only cause for potential concern is that Hurtado may have a transfer fee around $1.5 million and TransferMarkt estimates his value at closer to $5 million. Assuming he’d be paid around $1 million a year, that kind of fee would put him well above the TAM threshold.
One potential way around that, though, might be structuring the deal as a loan with an option to buy. If his current club is willing to defer payment until next year — when the Sounders have an open Designated Player spot — that would likely make Hurtado affordable.
Rest assured, Sounder at Heart will continue to pursue this story and we’ll provide updates as soon as we have them.