SEATTLE — Well, that didn't take long.
Just one day after Sounders FC announced it had freed up a designated-player slot, the team is finalizing the transfer of American star Clint Dempsey, one of the best players in U.S. Soccer history, from Tottenham of the English Premier League, according to a report from ESPNFC.com.
Sounders general manager Adrian Hanauer and a team spokesman each declined to comment, but Dempsey could be unveiled as early as today's 7:30 p.m. home game against FC Dallas, said the report, which was confirmed independently by other national outlets. Reports also say he will not play today because he is not yet on the active roster, but is expected to be in attendance.
Terms of the deal were not immediately known. But NBC Sports' ProSoccerTalk website said that according to multiple Major League Soccer sources, Tottenham would receive a $9 million transfer fee — the highest in MLS history — and Seattle would guarantee Dempsey $32 million over the next four seasons. It would be the largest base salary ever given to an MLS player.
According to the report, Dempsey's base salary would eclipse David Beckham and Thierry Henry, although Beckham also received a percentage of the Galaxy's revenue.
Seattle made room on the roster by agreeing Thursday to a new contract with Shalrie Joseph, which resulted in the veteran midfielder no longer counting as a DP.