Reports out of Spain; the deal for Obafemi Martins is complete. Martins will leave for Seattle within hours.The deal saves Levante the players roster salary which would have hit them for €1,000,000 Euros, had the player continued on with the team into the summer. In return for his release with what the club described as”wild” behavior, Martins will forfeit his claim to a share of the transfer fee originally outlined in the transfer clause at €600,000. Seattle will pay the full transfer fee as originally planned at €3,000,000. Per our local sources, Martins will sign with Seattle for $2.5 million per season, which is an uptick from what we previously reported. This could possibly be due to him waving his part if he transfer fee with Levante which would have netted him $1,000,000.
As originally reported here at Sounders Nation, the deal will make the Nigerian born striker one of the top ten highest paid players in MLS. He comes to Seattle in mid-season form and should be ready to step onto the pitch as soon as his Visa, and league paperwork clear.
This ends a tumultuous week in which we saw Levante back away from the originally agreed to deal by both sides. The team refused to negotiate anything less then the full transfer clause of €3,000,000. On Thursday after an MLS league official traveled to Spain to complete the transfer, the team informed the Sounders they had taken to long to make the transfer and would have to wait until Friday to try again. The team went on to further say that due to Obafemi Martins “Wild ” behavior during the week, he would have to forfeit his share of the transfer fee originally outlined in the clause, at€600,000. Martins practiced with the team on Friday morning until the deal was completed.
The deal cannot be officially announced until the Sounders have an open Designated Player spot available. Currently all three league allocated spots are full, and the expectation is Christian Tiffert will be given his release with a buyout of his contract. Tiffert himself has been quoted as saying the team is negotiating to terminate his contract. Speaking to Stern.de he goes on to say if the MLS wants to compete with the major leagues in Europe the are going to have to change some things. The buyout has to be announced before the start of league play on Saturday at 7:30 pm due to MLS roster rules.
The transfer instantly makes the Seattle Sounders a front runner to win the MLS cup. They have made three moves over the past three weeks for two all-star caliber players and one World Cup quality player in Martins. The Nigerian born striker has had a resurgence in his career at the age of 28, scoring 7 goals in 20+ games in La Liga this season and two goals in the Europa Cup and is known for his speed, goal scoring abilities, as well as his eccentric and acrobatic goal celebrations.
The former Levante striker will be looked upon to replace the recently loaned Sounders leading goal scorer Fredy Montero who was loaned to the Millionarios of Columbia earlier in the offseason. He will join forward Eddie Johnson upfront, and create an instant double threat up top for the Seattle based team.
UPDATE: 11:00 am
Quico Catala: “The Board has decided to reject the proposal [from the #Sounders], so Obafemi Martins remains a Levante player”