There's virtually no reason to think Obafemi Martins is leaving the Seattle Sounders anytime soon. The forward is having a MVP-caliber season, seems happy enough and there's no reason the Sounders should accept anything less than a sizable transfer fee for his services right now.
But does that mean Martins is here to stay for the long term? That's a relevant question and one Martins seems to think should be asked of the front office. Martins was back in Sounders training on Friday, which gave him a chance to talk to the media about the rumors that have been swirling.
"There are some teams, they've been calling me and all that," the Seattle Times reporting him saying. "And I've been waiting for them to know what it's going to be like - if I'm going to renew my contract or to move on to go somewhere else. I'm still waiting."
MLS being MLS, it's less than clear how much pressure the Sounders are under to actually give Martins a new contract. One report suggested he's a free at the end of this year, but reports out of Spain at the time of his signing said it was a three-year deal with an option for a fourth.
Either way, it's clear Martins wants a new deal and it's hard to deny that even at $1.75 million a year he's underpaid in comparison to the likes Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe. With eight goals and six assists, he's the only MLS player in the top 5 in both categories.
For the sake of argument, let's say the Sounders have an option on Martins for 2015. There's a good chance they'd exercise it regardless, but could find themselves in a situation similar to Camilo Sanvezzo, who effectively forced a transfer to Queretaro after winning the Golden Boot. The Sounders are going to want to avoid that, but might not be inclined to remove a rather larger carrot earlier than is necessary. That's another way of saying, this could take a while