Spanish midfielder Victor Rodriguez trained with Seattle on Monday ahead of a free transfer from La Liga’s Sporting Gijon, Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said.
Lagerwey told ESPN’s Julie Stewart-Binks on Saturday that the club would announce a new signing “next week,” and sources told ESPN FC on Monday that the Sounders were set to announce the signing of Rodriguez.
Lagerwey then confirmed that Rodriguez trained with the Sounders on Monday morning and was “optimistic we can complete the last steps and be able to add him this week,” though the GM cautioned that no deal had yet been completed.
However, he did say that the potential signing would be below the designated player level, and the club would likely use targeted allocation money in the deal.
“[Rodriguez] is a player Chris Henderson has scouted for almost two years now,” Lagerwey said. “He’s seen him multiple times live and I want to give Chris a lot of credit because he really was dogged about this one.
“He had never been available and suddenly he was available and popped up and we thought, ‘Well, OK, this is a guy we’ve been tracking for a while and are pretty excited about.'”
Rodriguez plays primarily as a right winger, and scored two goals in 27 league and cup appearances last season for Sporting, which announced last week that the 28-year-old would be released when he signs an MLS contract, with an agreement already in place.
Prior to that he was on the books at Elche, though his second season there saw him loaned out to Getafe, where scored twice in 34 league and cup appearances. He has also spent time with Real Zaragoza and Badalona.
The Sounders are also continuing their pursuit of Dynamo Kiev midfielder Derlis Gonzalez, but a source with knowledge of the negotiations said it’s still unclear if the Sounders will get the deal over the finish line before the close of the summer transfer window on Aug. 9, and that there is still much work to be done.
The hang-up continues to be the transfer fee, even though the Sounders’ offer for Gonzalez remains the best that Kiev has received so far, according to the source. Lagerwey declined to comment on Gonzalez on Monday.
Kiev is standing firm for the moment, but the political unrest in the country in recent years has made Dynamo more vulnerable to losing foreign players like Gonzalez, who is entering his third season with the club.
During that time, Gonzalez has scored nine goals in 52 league and cup appearances. Prior to joining Dynamo, Gonzalez was with Swiss side FC Basel where he scored six goals in 36 appearances.
He has also been on the books of Olimpia and Guarani in his native Paraguay. At international level, Gonzalez has made 27 appearances, scoring four goals.
Jeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreyCarlisle.