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Obafemi Martins transfer: International intrigue builds

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Although Martins seems to want to make the move and the Sounders are still interested, there appear to be complications that are causing the delay.

Laurence Griffiths

Another day has passed and Obafemi Martins' potential transfer to the Seattle Sounders doesn't seem to be any closer resolution than it was on Friday, at least according to reports out of Spain that say no effort was made to complete the payment on Monday. That should not be taken as the Sounders stepping away from negotiations, though, as Martins has apparently reiterated his desire to move to MLS and may have even pulled himself out of training.

Just to add a little more intrigue to all of this, Levante seems to be threatening legal action against the Sounders for what they claim is tampering. Whether or not they have a firm leg to stand on is not entirely clear, but if the Sounders are deemed to have violated this rule that would keep Martins on the sideline until summer.

For their part, the Sounders continue to express interest in making the deal happen.

"It's a fluid and complicated jigsaw puzzle," Sounders GM Adrian Hanauer told reporters following Saturday's loss. "We're hoping we can get that over the finish line. If we can, fantastic, and if we can't we'll go to Plan B."

Levante's reluctance to allow Martins to leave is understandable, at least from a soccer perspective. Martins is their leading scorer and they are preparing for two of the biggest matches in the team's recent history, as they will take on Rubin Kazan in the Europa League Round of 16. The first leg is Thursday with the return leg next week. The team has also said they are perfectly willing to accept the transfer at the end of the season in June.

The Sounders would obviously prefer this deal to happen much sooner and might simply prefer to look elsewhere if they have to wait much longer.