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Obafemi Martins to BBC: Sounders 'on verge of finalizing everything'

Assuming there are no more complications, the final papers are expected to be signed on Saturday.

Ian Walton

After taking several interesting turns over the past few days, it now appears that Obafemi Martins is set to complete his transfer to the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.

"We are on the verge of finalising everything and it should be another step in my career," Martins told BBC Sport.

As straight forward as that seems, it has been anything but since Sounders Sporting Director Chris Henderson traveled to Spain over the weekend. Henderson reportedly traveled there in an effort to convince Martins to take the Sounders' offer. While he was apparently successful, reports out of Spain suggest Levante is not very happy how it all went down.

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The Valencia-based side is in the midst of their first-ever Europa League appearance, having advanced to the Round of 16 after beating Olympiakos behind a pair of goals by Martins. While they may have been willing to part with Martins at one point, it appears they were at least hoping to hold onto him a little long.

Levante officials are so upset, in fact, that they are reportedly unwilling to part with Martins for anything less than his $4 million release clause. They are also threatening to keep the entire fee, even though Martins and his agent were each due $1 million apiece of any transfer fee. Beyond leaving the team at an inopportune time, Levante officials are also apparently upset that Martins spoke out about having some paychecks skipped.

Once the contract papers are signed, the Sounders would still need to finalize Martins' visa. That should take several more days, but it means Martins could be introduced in Seattle perhaps as soon as next week.

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