The Obafemi Martins-to-Seattle Sounders rumor picked up a little bit of a steam today when Grant Wahl first reported that a team official had traveled to spain in an effort to secure the forward's signature. Sounder at Heart has independently confirmed that report, which suggests the Sounders are attempting to make this move happen before the close of the transfer window in April.
While there's still a rather glaring gap between pursuing a player and actually signing them, this is the most clear indication that the Sounders are more willing than ever to spend significant money to sign a player like Martins. The Levante striker is in the midst of his best season in several years, having scored seven goals in 19 La Liga matches and adding two more in Europa League play.
Levante currently sits 10th in La Liga's table and is preparing for a Europa Round of 16 showdown with Rubin Kazan on March 7-14. Even if the Sounders can convince Martins to accept their offer, it's possible he could remain in Spain until after the quarterfinals. Martins previously played for Rubin Kazan, who let him leave on a free transfer to Levante.
Still, that would give him plenty of time to secure the proper paperwork before the transfer window closes in mid-April. Although Martins would miss out on some significant matches, arriving in late March would obviously be far preferable to waiting until the summer transfer window to bring in a player.
The hot pursuit of Martins is also the latest sign that Christian Tiffert's days with the Sounders are numbered. Before the Sounders can finalize anything, they'd need to open Tiffert's roster spot one way or the other.