The big-spending Chinese Super League looks to have lured another talented player as Obafemi Martins’ time with the Seattle Sounders has reportedly come to an end.
ESPNFC first reported on Friday night that Martins was the subject of interest from the CSL, with BBC Sport then confirming that Shanghai Shenhua had indeed secured the services of the 31-year-old Nigerian striker.
That does not appear to be a certainty just yet though. The Seattle Sounders have yet to confirm whether their Designated Player has left the club, with General Manager Garth Lagerwey claiming “it could take a while” for a resolution to the situation.
“We’ve had an approach from a Chinese club for his services, and it could take a while to have that resolved. Hopefully we’ll know more by the end of the week,” Lagerwey said in a club statement on Sunday.
If Martins does indeed make the move to Shanghai Shenhua, he would link up with former New York Red Bulls midfielder Tim Cahill, as well as Senegalese striker Demba Ba.
Several big names have made the move to China over the past month, with the Chinese transfer record being broken four times in this transfer window alone.
If Martins does leave Seattle, the Sounders would have a Designated Player slot freed up. But with less than three weeks until the start of the 2016 MLS season, the timing of his departure would raise concerns.
The former Inter Milan and Birmingham City striker has scored 40 goals with 23 assists since joining Seattle in March 2013.
How much of a blow would the loss of Obafemi Martins be for Seattle?