Momentum surrounding Fredy Montero's rumored loan move to Colombian giants Millionarios continued to build Thursday, with Soccer By Ives reporting the transaction is all but a done deal.
Early Thursday morning, Colombian soccer news website Futbol Red reported that Montero was headed to the Bogotá-based club on a six-month loan with a option to extend the stint to a full year and make the transfer permanant. Should the Colombian champions decide to sign Montero on a full-time basis, reports indicated the striker would cost the Copa Libertadores participants $4.5 million, the highest transfer for an incoming player in Colombian football history.
A source based in Colombia told FutbolMLS.com on Thursday that the deal is "98 or 99 percent done," but the Sounders had no comment when contacted by MLSsoccer.com. Millonarios declined to comment when contacted by FutbolMLS.com.
"Everything is settled on word, but there are some papers needed to finalize the transfer," Eduardo Silva, the managing director of Millionarios, told Caracol Radio in Colombia on Thursday. "The club’s desire is to have the player throughout the year 2013 - Copa Libertadores and two league tournaments - although there are some clauses where [Seattle Sounders] want to have him back after six months."
Silva also told Caracol that the only thing holding back the deal is "missing signatures, because all parties agree to the transfer.”
Montero arrived in Seattle on loan from Deportivo Cali before the club's inaugural season in 2009 and signed permenantly in Dec. 2010. With 47 goals in 119 regular-season games, including a career-best 13 strikes during 2012, and 60 goals and 43 assists in all competitions, the Colombian striker is the Sounders' all-time leading scorer in MLS.
And although he has a penchant for spectacular plays, Montero has been criticized for his streaky goalscoring record and lack of production in the playoffs. In 10 postseason starts, he failed to score and registered just two assists.
Meanwhile, Millionarios' motivation behind the move surely centers around their participation in this spring's Copa Libertadores, in which the club has drawn Corinthians (Brazil), San José (Bolivia) and Club Tijuana (Mexico) in a brutal group stage. They'll also attempt to defend their first Colombian title in 24 years after capturing the crown in December.
Montero led the Colombian league in scoring during the 2007 Apertura and 2008 Clausura seasons while with Atlético Huila and Cali.
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