Sounders say they're closing in on transfer of Obafemi Martins

Nigeria national team striker Obafemi Martins

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TUKWILA, Wash. – Nothing is done yet, but the Seattle Sounders are closing in on securing the transfer of Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins.

“He’s a player we’re sort of circling the wagons on and hopefully with a little bit of luck, [we’ll] bring into the organization,” Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer told reporters on Tuesday.

Hanauer also confirmed that the Sounders are hoping to add Martins to the roster before the close of the transfer window in mid-April, which would make the goalscoring star eligible to play as soon as his paperwork is finalized.

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At the same time, Martins has apparently told a Spanish radio station that he’s not happy at Spanish club Levante and that he wants to leave now. But the Valencia-based outfit may be loathe to part with its leading scorer, especially with a round-of-16 date with Martins’ former club, Russia’s Rubin Kazan, in the Europa League on March 7 and 14.

The 28-year-old Martins is enjoying a bit of a renaissance year. The World Cup veteran has seven goals in 20 league appearances and has scored in each of Levante’s two previous Europa matches. He has also starred for Inter Milan and Newcastle United during his 13-year professional career

Martins signed with Levante at the start of this season on a free transfer from Rubin Kazan and is rumored to have a buyout clause of about $4 million. That would be one of the largest transfer fees a MLS team has ever paid.