By DAN KARELL
Fredy Montero is no longer on the books of Seattle Sounders.
Sporting Club de Portugal announced on Thursday that they’ve exercised their purchase option on the Colombian forward, making him a full member of Sporting Lisbon. The option provides Montero with a new contract through 2018 and a release clause of $81.29 million.
Montero’s full transfer means that he no longer belongs to the Sounders, freeing up cap space for the club. The move could also potentially allow the Sounders to add former MLS All Star Marco Pappa to their roster. Pappa signed on Wednesday with MLS and Seattle is first in the allocation order for his services.
The Sounders confirmed the sale of Montero late Thursday afternoon.
“Fredy has been and will always be a special member of our family,” said Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer. “Fredy had a wonderful career in Seattle and is continuing that success overseas. Hopefully his quality of play gives him an opportunity to be added to the Colombia World Cup roster. We wish him well with this next chapter of his career.”
Montero joined Sporting Lisbon on loan in July after spending the previous six months with Millonarios in his native Colombia. Since signing for Sporting Lisbon, the 26-year-old forward has been a revelation, scoring 13 goals in 16 league matches. Sporting Lisbon are currently in second place behind Benfica in the Primeira Liga standings.
Prior to moving abroad before the 2013 MLS season, Montero racked up 47 goals and 34 assists in four seasons with the Sounders, though he was unable to replicate his success in the playoffs.
Earlier this month, Spanish publication Marca and Colombian newspaper El Pais reported that Sporting Lisbon’s purchase option included a transfer fee to the Sounders of anywhere from $13.6 to $16.3 million. The reports also included that Montero had a buyout clause of $81.29 million, which was confirmed on Thursday.
What do you think of this news? Think it was inevitable? Do you wish Montero would have returned to MLS? Do you expect the Sounders to re-invest some of the potential transfer money this season?
Share your thoughts below.