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La Liga to MLS: Why RSL could sign Alfredo Ortuno as a free agent

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FBL-ESP-LIGA-GRANADA-PORTRAIT Photo credit should read Jorge Guerrero/AFP/Getty Images

With news trickling down the pipeline that Real Salt Lake is apparently after Spanish forward Alfredo Ortuño, we’re left wondering how exactly the player would be available on a free transfer.

It’s a complicated one, so buckle up. (Literally. You should always wear a seatbelt. Also, don’t read this while you’re driving. Thanks.)

Las Palmas to Alavés

Ortuño, in a Nov. 30 article published by Spanish outlet Marca, said that Las Palmas told the striker he wasn’t part of their plans, so he started negotiating with other Spanish clubs. He also said that one offer didn’t go through to Alavés — something like a 2 million Euro offer, if everything’s to be believed. That’s double what Las Palmas is alleged to have payed for his rights. Why, you ask? Las Palmas, Ortuño said, didn’t want to reinforce a rival.

Las Palmas to... anwhere?

Ortuño said he had offers to play at “Cádiz, Valladolid, Tenerife, Oviedo and Almería,” but that he wanted to play at Alavés, a La Liga club, over a second-division club. When negotiations failed, he actually cut ties with his agency, Bahia, and he cites Gustavo Cañizares in that interview. Bahia represents some of the biggest Spanish names: Javi Martinez, Pedro, Vitolo and a great deal more.

After that, Ortuño took José Manuel Espejo as his representative.

Las Palmas to Valladolid?

At some point, right around the transfer deadline, Valladolid tried to sign Ortuño from Las Palmas. That didn’t happen in quite the right timeframe for La Liga, for one reason or another. One reason cited by a Spanish publication? His plane didn’t arrive in time. The other reason primarily cited is that there was, in some contract, somewhere, probably between these two clubs, a prohibitively expensive clause that would have been triggered had he played for a second division club.

Now, other reports have Ortuño terminating his contract with Las Palmas — but even further reports have Ortuño’s signature in termination being forged. That’s, uh... well, it’s certainly some stuff.

So... what next?

In that interview we linked near the top, Ortuño made pretty clear where that expensive clause came from. As part of a late September resolution between Ortuño and Valladolid, he couldn’t sign at another second division team without them paying a clause. Translated, courtesy of Google, he said:

If there is a club that is willing to pay Valladolid the clause I have with them, yes. I'm in the market and I do not rule out any offer, even from outside the country, as long as it's interesting to keep making progress.

That’s corroborated by a report from today, which puts the number at 750,000 Euros — not a small number, by any stretch.

Now, in that interview, Ortuño said he continued training with Las Palmas. So it’s not like he’s been without any sort of club — just, well, without a club.