The reported transfer fee due the Sounders is $2 million, and the move will nearly double Martins' 2016 salary, from $3.6 million to $6.6 million, according to a report.

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It took more than a week-and-a-half after the initial reports, but on Thursday, the Sounders made it official: Forward Obafemi Martins has been transferred to the Chinese Super League and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua.

The reported transfer fee due the Sounders is $2 million, and the move will nearly double Martins’ 2016 salary, from $3.6 million to $6.6 million, according to the Washington Post.

Because it is so close to the beginning of the MLS season, the timing is less than ideal for the Sounders. Martins has been their most consistent performer since joining the club in 2013 — he netted 40 goals in 72 MLS appearances and finished second in the 2014 MVP voting — so it’s hard to say with a straight face that the move makes the Sounders a better team in the short term.

What the transfer does do, however, is free up the Designated Player spot not occupied by forwards Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez and add salary-cap flexibility.

“In a perfect world, I don’t want three DP forwards,” Sounders general manager Garth Lagerwey said this week. “Particularly when arguably our best young player, Jordan Morris, is also a forward. We would like to have more balance in the team from front to back.”

On how quickly the Sounders might move to fill the hole left by Martins’ absence, Lagerwey didn’t give the impression of a man desperately rifling through his contacts.

“It’s not like we’re going to an immediate reaction, that we’re immediately going to go out and find another striker or any other player,” Lagerwey said. “That said, we’re well prepared, and we’re looking. We believe in the guys that are here.”

Martins’ former teammates struck a conciliatory tone about the potential move this week.

“At the end of the day, everybody has the right to choose their own path in their career,” Dempsey said Monday. “I have a lot of respect for Oba. He’s come from a little kid in Nigeria to playing with some of the best clubs in the world. He’s had a great career. Who am I to tell him anything? All I can say is that I enjoyed my time playing with him. He was one of my favorite teammates I got to play with.”

Dempsey now is the Sounders’ singular attacking focal point, where he looked right at home in scoring two goals against Club America in Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal. Valdez looks set to line up on the left of the new Sounders 4-3-3 formation, and Morris slots into Martins’ vacated role on the right.

Morris became the first Sounders rookie since DeAndre Yedlin in 2013 to start the season opener.

“It’s not an ideal situation, but I think we’d all agree that if we could get one player to step in for (Martins), it’d be Jordan,” Sounders captain Brad Evans said. “I think everyone in the locker room has been extremely happy. We really haven’t spoken about Oba at all. If we thought that there was something missing, I think there’d be more chatter. The reality is that we’ve been extremely happy with Jordan.”