Nigeria international, Obafemi Martins, will earn $6.6 million net (approximately N2.4 billion in Nigerian currency) in the first year of his contract with Chinese Super League club Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.
Obafemi Martins, 31, who transferred to Shanghai Greenland Shenua from the Seattle Sounders will be earning more than double his former pay while playing in the free-spending Chinese league. The MLS salary, however, is before taxes, while the Chinese contract is the net figure.
Given those numbers, it’s not hard to understand why Martins would accept the move or why the Sounders weren’t about to get into a bidding war with the Chinese club.
Seattle Sounders cashed in on the former Inter Milan, Newcastle and Wolfsburg star after Shanghai Greenland Shenhua met their $2 million asking price.
The $2 million transfer fee may not seem like much for a player of Martins’ stature, but most of it will go back to the Sounders and can be used on a future acquisition.
The Sounders agreed to sell the Nigerian forward to Shanghai last week. The Chinese club is awaiting the deal to pass through FIFA’s transfer monitoring system and receipt of his international transfer certificate.
Martins had signed a one-year contract with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua but that could be extended at the end of 2016 to one more year depending on his performance.
The Super Eagles star joined his new team in South Korea for pre-season training last week and has played two test games so far, in preparation for the Super League season, which will open March 5.
Over three regular seasons, Martins recorded 40 goals and 23 assists in 72 appearances (66 starts) and was a two-time MVP and 2014 Best XI selection.
Chinese clubs have shaken the world market this winter by spending exorbitant fees on players such as Colombian striker Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid), Brazilian midfielder Ramires (Chelsea) and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain).
Martins’ official departure might coincide with the Sounders’ first competitive match of the 2016 campaign, Tuesday’s first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against Mexico’s Club America at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle remains well-equipped in the attack with Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez and Jordan Morris, who joined the club from Stanford University this winter after a meteoric rise with the U.S. national team.
Martins’ exit does provide roster and salary cap flexibility for additional moves at some point this season.
Sounders General Manager Garth Lagerwey had earlier in the week said;
We’re going to take our time, and we’re going to replace Oba.
Maybe not position for position, maybe not player for player. But I think some of the replacements will come from the group, in terms of how we collectively play. And I think we’re going to look to add some more talent.
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