Although the rumor mil has not been generating many stories linking the Rave Green to potential signings, that doesn’t mean Chris Henderson and his team of scouts aren’t constantly looking at players.
With the summer transfer window now open, I’m at least confident in identifying one of the candidates on Seattle’s target list. A few days ago I was told by a reliable source that Seattle had shown significant interest in Renato Tapia, one of Peru’s most promising players. Tapia is a rangy midfielder, with great pace and subpar passing skills who is primarily a defensive player, broadly fitting the type of midfielder Seattle had been looking for since the last transfer window.
During the scouting process of Raúl Ruidíaz, where there was so much time spent following Peru during qualifier games, it was only natural a player like Tapia would stand out. Along with his set of skills on the field, the intangibles are also there. Even though he is one of the youngest players in Ricardo Gareca’s team, the 23-year-old has earned the name “The Future Captain” thanks to the leadership skills his teammates see in him.
According to the information I’ve been able to gather, Seattle’s interest went beyond just inquiries and a potential offer from the Sounders was expected at some point. Nonetheless, Tapia’s agent, Carlos Gonzales, informed me this week that the midfielder is currently on loan with Willem II and has decided to remain in the Eredivisie.
”We’ve had talks with several MLS teams who have shown interest in Renato over the last month and half,” said Gonzales.
“There has been serious interest from a few clubs up there, I can’t specifically say which teams because of the confidentially behind it. However, despite having several good options — not just in MLS but also in Mexico, Dubai and Russia — at this time we have decided along with Renato to stay in Netherlands and continue the process, the work plan in there this season, and after that we might look at options outside of Netherlands.”
It is no surprise that coming off a Copa America where Peru reached the final and being a fundamental piece in their midfield, Tapia would have plenty of options. His plan is probably to establish himself more in the Eredivisie, where he has struggled to get consistent minutes, and hope his price tag continues to rise.
That said, Gonzales did not discard the possibility of his client making a potential move to MLS in the future.
“We think very highly of MLS. The league has shown significant growth over the last few years to the point of being at the same level as other leagues around Europe,” the agent said.
He added, “Here in Peru we look upon MLS with great respect, and that includes players from our national team, to the point that several of them play over there. We know offers from MLS can compete with those coming from European teams as well, so we are very open to a move there. We’ll just have to see how the market moves after.”
With Tapia no longer being an option, I expect Sounders to continue looking for a high-quality defensive midfielder of a similar caliber, but perhaps one who won’t require a Designated Player tag, as there are other positions also potentially needing to be addressed.
Regardless of what Chris Henderson and Garth Lagerwey may have in mind next, this report is further proof that when it come to identifying talented players who fit the methodology of this organization, this scouting team is second to none fans should be confident the right move will get done.