Obafemi Martins looks set to join Seattle Sounders after Levante revealed that the player had himself paid the buy-out clause in his contract - believed to be €3 million - on Monday afternoon.
In late February, Nigeria international Martins, 28, told Spanish radio that he was not happy at Levante and a move to the MLS side would suit all parties. Levante’s reaction was to tweet that none of their players were going anywhere unless the clauses in their contracts were met.
At the time it seemed this was a bargaining ploy, but a club statement released via the club website on Monday suggested that the Spanish side would receive the full total as detailed in Martins’ contract.
“The footballer Martins Obafemi Akinwunmi has this evening deposited, at the headquarters of the Liga de Futbol Professional, the amount corresponding to the buy-out clause in his contract with Levante Union Deportiva,” the statement said. “The LFP has proceeded with the movement of the deposit made to Levante, as per the regulations of the Real Federacion Espanola de Futbol.”
The former Rubin Kazan, Inter Milan, Newcastle, Wolfsburg and Birmingham forward is Levante’s top scorer this season with nine goals in 27 games. He did not feature in Saturday’s goalless Primera Division draw with Getafe at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium, after reportedly missing training last week with a stomach complaint.