MLS Rumors: Seattle Sounders Set to Pay $9 Million Transfer Fee for Clint Dempsey

By Phil Naegely

On Thursday night, Twitter was mobbed with #WatchDempsey, and on Friday, many reports indicated that the U.S. Men’s National Team and Tottenham Spurs striker Clint Dempsey will be heading to MLS side Seattle Sounders. Many were wondering how Seattle could land Dempsey in the current allocation order and if MLS was bending the designated player and allocation rules. However, it is being reported that the Sounders will be paying a $9 million transfer fee for Dempsey.

Sounders beat writer Jeremiah Olsen confirmed the deal and pointed out Seattle was the only team willing to pay a $9 million transfer fee. On August 1, Seattle freed up a designated player (DP) roster spot when they negotiated a new non-DP contract with Shalrie Joseph, which also freed up the money needed to land Dempsey.

With DP contracts and landing any player through allocation, clubs can use allocation monies toward the player’s contract. Furthermore, clubs are not responsible for paying the players entire contract. As of 2012, players over 23 have a maximum salary hit of $350,000 per season, but Dempsey will only have a $175,000 salary hit this season because he is a mid-season DP.

While Dempsey’s contract is reportedly still being finalized, Olsen tweeted that he heard Dempsey could possibly make $8 million per year for four years. Even with his contract numbers being finalized yet, it seems like Dempsey will be heading to Seattle.

Dempsey’s arrival could have been prompted by his time in Seattle earlier this season when the USMNT faced Panama in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match.

Dempsey could have easily stayed with Tottenham or another EPL club, but instead has reportedly decided to come play for Seattle. This move is big for not only Seattle but the rest of MLS and its fans.

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