"I think it says a lot," Howard said on the weekend.
"They made a big push, looks like it's going to be a lot of money, which is rightfully deserved, because he's a top, top-class player. The best we have at the moment.
"I don't think anyone expected it, which is great. It's good that you can do your business in quiet and get things done.
"To be honest, in secret I've been saying it for years: I'd like to see them pay some money and bring Clint Dempsey back.
"They're bringing in some of these other international stars, why not bring the best home? And they did. They weren't listening to me, but they did it, which is great."