Obafemi Martins says goodbye to Sounders fans ahead of China move
Obafemi Martins has posted on social media that he has decided to leave the Seattle Sounders and join a Chinese club in Shanghai.
Martins posted a lengthy goodbye to Seattle on his Twitter account Wednesday night. Martins said it's "time for a new challenge" and that he has decided to join Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League while thanking Seattle for his opportunity with the Sounders. The Sounders had no comment.
Thanks to all who made these last three years an amazing experience. Seattle has a special place in my heart ���� pic.twitter.com/qg3XxYRzbK- OBA MARTINS (@Obafemimartins) February 18, 2016
The 31-year-old, who has been with the Sounders since 2013 and scored 15 goals in 21 regular-season games last year, was reportedly a CSL target as early as Feb. 12, according to ESPN FC sources.
An official deal has not been announced or confirmed by Major League Soccer or the Sounders.
Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said in an audio statement released by the team on Sunday: "Obafemi's not here with us in this phase of camp. We've had an approach from a Chinese club for his services."
Martins was also photographed arriving in South Korea to join his new club for training.
Obafemi Martins arrived Shanghai Shenhua's training camp in South Korea. pic.twitter.com/5OCEMYSpMI- TransferMarkt China (@asaikana) February 17, 2016
Seattle is preparing for its 2016 opener against Mexico's America on Feb. 23 in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.