Premium Times (Abuja)

28 February 2013

Nigeria: Obafemi Martins in Fresh Transfer Saga

Photo: Vanguard
Nigeria Super Eagles' forward, Obafemi Martins

Nigeria's Obafemi Martins may have stirred the hornets' nest at his Spanish club, Levante, as he pushes for a move to MLS side, Seattle Sounders.

The striker, who was left out of Nigeria's squad to the Cup of Nations in South Africa, publicly told a Spanish Radio (Radio Valencia) that he was not happy at Levante; a comment which in a way has not gone down well with his club as well as his teammates.

According to Martins, who stands to rake in hundreds of millions of naira if the move to America pulls through, Levante have failed to meet the promises made to him and so he wants out.

"I'm not happy here, because I was promised something that has not been met. I help the team, but there is something that Levante have not met. It is not a question of money and I want out.

"It is difficult to speak publicly about it. Ask Manolo [Salvador, Levante's sporting director], he knows what it is," Martins was quoted as saying on football-espana.net.

Juanfran Garcia, one of the most senior players in Levante, revealed on Wednesday that he and his fellow teammates have spoken to Martins over his controversial interview given yesterday.

Juanfran told reporters the dressing room's reaction to the interview, which saw the former Inter striker make clear his intention to move to America.

"We have been talking to him to be clear and we will not talk about it anymore. The captains have met and told him that he made a mistake," the 36-year-old revealed on Wednesday.

"It is a personal matter and we understand that he is an important player here. We do not know if he will be here in a day or two, or until the end of the season, but until the last day he will try.

"If he plays on Saturday or not depends on the Coach. But what I think is that I do not want any player next to me whose head is not here.

"I do not know what he is thinking, from what I have seen and understood though, he seems fine. Whatever help he wants we will give, if he doesn't want to be here, we don't want him playing here.

"We have said that we are not concerned about his attitude and there is no problem with the team. I think the situation can be reversed.

"Here in Spain we treat these issues in a certain way and maybe he comes from somewhere where it is handled differently.

"I have no doubt, if he stays or goes, that the group will emerge from this stronger. Whilst he is here, he belongs to Levante and will fight to his death for us.

Already, Levante, through their official twitter handle, have suggested that they could stand in Martins way unless the buyout clause in his contract is met.

"We will not negotiate now the exit of any player and if there is an offer then it must be at the termination clause," the Spanish outfit tweeted on Wednesday.

Another Nigerian striker, Osaze Odemwingie, was involved in a transfer row with his English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion, leading to a punishment by the club.

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InFocus

Nigerian Striker Moves to U.S. Football Club

Nigeria Super Eagles' forward, Obafemi Martins

Super Eagles' striker Obafemi Martins has finally joined major league soccer club Seattle Sounders in America. Read more »