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Obafemi Martins’ transfer only awaits Chinese visa

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The lone holdup for the sale of Obafemi Martins to Shanghai Shenhua is a Chinese entry visa, according to a report circulating through Nigerian media. Tribune Online Nigeria is likely the originator of the story, but a few sites have reprinted it in full.

A source close to the former Inter Milan player disclosed: "Martins is only waiting for his visa to fly out to China.

"It's a done deal and he is very excited about it."

They expect the deal to be done by the end of the week.

As soon as the sale goes through, Seattle Sounders President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey's clock will start ticking. He will have the max cap room and a Designated Player spot to try to replace the perennial MVP candidate. Lagerwey could sign one significant player or spread the cap room around a few players to strengthen depth. If reports of a $3 million transfer fee are accurate, the Sounders would also net about $2 million once MLS takes its cut. Although it won't be in the form of allocation money, its money that should go back into the team's soccer budget.

Replacing Martins will not be simple or easy, or fast. The MLS primary transfer window closes in early May.