Source: Move unlikely for U.S. youngster Soto
Hannover 96 and U.S. youth international striker Sebastian Soto is unlikely to move before the close of the transfer window on Sept. 2, with one source close to the player putting the chances at "five percent."
Hannover issued a statement last Thursday that Soto was in advanced talks with a club from outside Germany about a transfer. The source said Belgian Pro League side Club Brugge as well as Liga Portugal powerhouse Benfica are among the interested clubs.
But the source added that Hannover's demands for a transfer fee in the seven-figure range have put off interested suitors, especially given the fact that Soto's contract expires at the end of the current campaign, allowing him to sign a pre-contract in as soon as four months. Hannover offered Soto a three-year deal earlier this summer, but the player prefers a two-year contract.
Soto, 19, is scheduled to travel to Chula Vista, Calif. on Monday in order to take part in a training camp for the U.S. U23 national team. That gives him scant time to pass a physical and actually sign a deal.
Soto has become increasingly frustrated over his lack of playing time this season, which consists of a solitary four-minute stint against Jahn Regensburg in the second game of the season. Hannover, now competing in the 2. Bundesliga after last season's relegation, has scored just six goals in five league and cup matches, but three of those came against bottom-of-the-league SV Wehen Wiesbaden. Hannover currently sits in 12th place through five matches, with its five points putting it level with five other clubs.
Soto scored four goals for the U.S. at the FIFA U20 World Cup last spring, a tournament in which the Americans reached the quarterfinals. He has since been in demand at international level, with Chile -- the birth country of his father -- expressing interest in having Soto file a one-time switch to represent La Roja.