Although the Seattle Sounders exercised their 2022 contract option on Raul Ruediaz, negotiations over a potential extension appear to have run into a snag. The case is clearly significant enough that Ruediaz has announced he is ready to leave, according to Pulso Sports’ Nick Negrini.
It should be noted that Raul Ruediaz is very clear in his position on leaving Seattle. Don’t want to stay in Tweet embed impossible.
Nick NegriniG December 1, 2021
That’s a far cry from the situation things were in just about a month ago, when it looked as if the Sounders and Ruidíaz were reasonably close to an agreement.
Ruediaz is coming off his best season since his move to Sounders in the summer of 2018, equaling the team’s record for the regular season (17) and all competition (19) goals. Ruediaz now has 61 career goals at the Sounders, second only to Freddy Monteiro (68) in franchise history.
But Ruediaz, 31, is also coming off a season in which he has missed most of the past two months with a hamstring injury. While still one of the league’s top scorers, the Sounders certainly have a limit on how much they’re willing to pay and how long they’d like to extend it.
At the heart of all this lies unilateral team choice, something that has been challenged – successfully in some cases – by many players over the years. Two recent examples are Kyle Larrain and Kaku, both of whom have virtually ignored those options to sign with new teams overseas. It should be noted that in both cases, the MLS team ended up charging the transfer fee. In Lareen’s case, Orlando City got about $2 million from Besiktas, while the Saudi collaboration ended up paying more than $6 million to the New York Red Bulls.
Several Liga MX teams have reportedly expressed interest in Ruidíaz, but even with his current salary of around $2.1 million, he is already among the top 10 paid players in Mexico. It is unclear whether there is a particularly strong market for Ruidíaz overseas in Europe or Asia.
This is starting to look somewhat like the situation surrounding Obafemi Martins, who actually worked his way up to the 2016 season. Martins went so far as to threaten to be seated if the Sounders didn’t agree to take him to Shanghai Shenhua FC of China. The Sounders ended up raising about $3 million, but weren’t able to really use that money until the following summer when they signed Nicolas Lodeiro.
Of course, it’s also possible that this is just the next stage in the negotiations with Ruidíaz, as he sees if he can get the Sounders out of whatever they’ve been offering. Ruidíaz has been very good for the Sounders and they know it will be very difficult to replace him, especially if they want to do so before the Concacaf Champions League starts in about 10 weeks.