As reported yesterday, we have been able to independently confirm the Sounders are currently in advanced negotiations with Brazilian Seríe A side Palmeiras for 22-year-old prospect Wesley, who I’m told the Rave Green has been scouting for at least a couple of seasons. The young talent is one of three primary targets that Seattle has been following as potential players to fill in a role in the attacking front. That in no way means that Seattle is also in talks with other teams, it simply means there are other possibilities if this negotiation does not eventually reach an agreement.
“Initial conversations and moves are more than a week in,” a source told Niko Moreno this morning. “Wesley going to Seattle would be a great move for both clubs, but let’s not think that far — this deal still far from done.”
With reports from Brazil indicating Palmeiras has allegedly made a counter offer, I would not be surprised if this conversation prolongs for weeks and if demands are too extravagant, leading the Sounders to just walk away. If Garth Lagerwey has taught us anything during his tenure as General Manager, it’s that he will not be pressured into overspending and will not handicap the team by going over his set budget.
That leads me to believe, that just as it happened with Bahia last season, advanced negotiations with a club gives us no guarantee that the deal will get done. The Brazilian soccer market has always been overly inflated and the two-time Copa Libertadores champions being one of the most successful clubs in “El Campeonato Brasileiro”, will certainly influence Wesley’s transfer value, not to mention the way South American clubs tend to tax MLS clubs when it comes to acquiring players.
Going over my data and notes from years of following this front office, I do not foresee Seattle agreeing to a transfer fee that surpasses approximately $3 million, and talking with other sources close to the Brazilian side, that might be a big obstacle as expectations from many are that Palmeiras will demand closer to $6-7 Million, which is half of what FC Cincinnati paid for Brenner.
However, Wesley does not have the type of productivity, or “hype”, if you will. He is seen as a talented prospect, with imposing acceleration, top caliber speed, and great change of pace, but whose passing and finishing abilities still need to improve. That said, he is the typical skillful dribbler, with a nifty instinct to beat defenders one-on-one, which makes Brazilian players so delightful to watch. For now I will keep the other targets in consideration, as those could come into play if talks with Palmeiras break down.