Nigerian Players Transfer Round Up: Nmecha leaves City, Success set for Italy return
This is Soccernet.ng’s daily round-up of all the transfer news, confirmed moves, rumours and speculations surrounding Nigerian footballers. Check back every day to stay informed.
Saturday, July 17
Nigeria-eligible German youngster Lucas Nmecha has completed an £11m move to German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg.
Nmecha spent last season on loan at Anderlecht, who were also interested in signing him, but could not afford to sign him permanently.
In another transfer news, forgotten Super Eagles star Isaac Success is set to join Serie A side Udinese on a loan deal from Watford.
The Nigerian international was previously a youth player with The White and Blacks. The deal between the two parties should not come as a surprise as they are both owned by the Pozzo family.
Meanwhile, Salernitana, another Serie A side, are interested in Simy Nwankwo and Joel Obi as they get set to play in the top-flight after 23 years.
Everton are set to sign the highly-rated Francis Okoronkwo from Sunderland. As per the DailyMail, the Toffees will pay £1m (₦569m) to sign the brilliant teenager from the Black Cats.
Okoronkwo was born in England, but he’s eligible to play for Nigeria through his parents. He’s yet to represent the Three Lions at any level.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Udinese have completed the signing of another Nigeria-eligible youngster Destiny Udogie from Hellas Verona.
Welcome to #Udine @udogiethree
⚪️⚫️ #ForzaUdinese #AlèUdin pic.twitter.com/aHdNxCxtFq
— Udinese Calcio (@Udinese_1896) July 15, 2021
As per Football Italia, the initial deal is a loan deal with an obligation to buy at the end of the season. The 18-year-old was born in Italy and has represented the Azzurris from the u16-u19 level.
However, he’s also eligible to play for the Super Eagles through his Nigerian heritage.
Genk are already preparing for life after Paul Onuachu after reports emerged that they are in talks with Chelsea over the transfer of Ike Ugbo.
Kelechi Nwakali won’t get the chance to return to England, at least for now, following Huesca’s decision to keep him in their squad for next season
The former Golden Eaglets striker has been linked with a move to Bournemouth and Leeds United, but he’s now set to stay in Spain.
Forgotten Super Eagles midfielder Mikel Agu could be the latest Nigerian star after John Mikel Obi to move to the middle-east. The 28-year-old is close to leaving Vitória de Guimarães for an unnamed Arabian club.
Meanwhile, Sivasspor have completed the signing of Leke James, bringing the total number of Nigerians at the club to two.
Onuachu was Nigeria’s leading man in Belgium last season, but there was another Nigerian that also had a fantastic season, and that’s attracted two European clubs.
PSV and Besiktas are set to battle it out for the services of Super Eagles hopeful Ike Ugbo. Ugbo, who spent last season on loan at Cercle Brugge from Chelsea, wants to leave Stamford Bridge permanently this summer.
Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur could make a move for highly-rated Nigerian star Paul Mukairu. The Lilywhites are looking at potential replacements for Harry Kane, and Mukairu is one of their targets.
Maduka Okoye could leave Sparta Rotterdam just a year after signing for the club as Anderlecht and AZ Alkmaar are interested in his services.
Meanwhile, another Nigerian prospect Alhassan Yusuf has left his Swedish club IFK Goteburg to sign for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian top-flight.
Forgotten Super Eagles star Kayode Olanrewaju has extended his stay at Sivasspor. Olanrewaju joined The Brave Ones on a loan deal from Shakhtar Donetsk last season, and both parties have agreed to extend the deal for another season.
Arsenal have tied down one of their brightest prospects Arthur Okonkwo to a new long-term contract. Okonkwo played for the Gunners U-23 and U-18 youth side in the last two seasons, but he has been promoted to the first team ahead of the new season.
Oghenekaro Etebo will hope to put his career back on track again after he joined Watford from Stoke City on a season-long loan deal.
Etebo spent last season on loan at Galatasaray, but he never achieved much during his time at the club. The Nigerian has struggled in the last two years, but the move to Watford offers him another opportunity to get back to top form.
Meanwhile, Etebo is not the only player of Nigerian descent Watford signed on Friday as they also brought in Scottish-Nigerian forward Dapo Mebude. The Hornets now have five Nigerians in their ranks and one Scotland youth star of Nigerian origin.
✍️ We are pleased to confirm the signing of young forward Dapo Mebude, previously of Glasgow Rangers.
Welcome to Watford, @DMebude! 🐝
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) July 9, 2021
In another transfer news, Super Eagles target and invitee Michael Olise joined Crystal Palace from Reading. The Eagles have signed the youngster on a five-year deal.
Olise’s move to Selhurst Park will see him link up with another Nigerian national team target Eberechi Eze under Patrick Viera, who is the new Crystal Palace coach.
Meanwhile, former Sheffield Wednesday defender Osaze Urhoghide has completed his move to Celtic in the Scottish top-flight.
— Osaze Urhoghide (@Osazeus) July 1, 2021
One of Nigeria’s best players last season, Simy Nwankwo, could be set for a move to Udinese. The 29-year-old is an option for the White and Blacks, who are looking to bolster their attacking options ahead of the new season.
Simy suffered the disappointment of relegation with Crotone last season, but he’s expected to leave the club after scoring 20 league goals.
Former Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has left Stoke City just weeks after signing a new one-year contract extension at the club.
The Chelsea legend has left the Bet 365 stadium to sign a one-year deal with Kuwait Sporting Club in the middle east.
— نادي الكويت الرياضي (@kuwaitclub) July 1, 2021
Super Eagles right-back Tyronne Ebuehi joined Serie A new boys Venezia FC on a season-long loan deal from Benfica with an option to buy permanently.
It’s the second consecutive loan spell for Ebuehi after his impressive stint with FC Twente in the just-concluded season.
Ebuehi is not the only Nigerian that completed a loan move to a new club. Cologne flop Toluwalase Emmanuel Arokodare also joined Ligue 2 side Amiens on a two-year loan deal from Valmeiras with an option to sign permanently.
Other deals include Emmanuel Dennis transfer from Club Brugge to Watford. The 23-year-old joined the newly-promoted Premier League side after a disappointing season in Belgium and Germany.
Meanwhile, Victor Moses has joined Spartak Moscow on a permanent deal after spending the just-concluded season on a loan deal from Chelsea.
Also, Slavia Prague have completed the signing of former Nigerian U-23 star Ubong Moses Ekpai on a three-year deal.
Ekpai joins Peter Olayinka, who is the other Nigerian star at the club.
I’m Super Excited to join @slaviaofficial , I’m fired up and can’t wait to start this journey. Special thanks to everyone who made this possible🙏🏾
Let’s Gooooo💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/8Q9Ux7Nk7S
— Ubong Ekpai (@UbongEkpai) June 23, 2021
Meanwhile, Frank Onyeka is close to joining Premier League new boys Brentford from FC Midtjylland, subject to a work permit.
Borussia Dortmund are targeting British-Nigerian youngster Noni Madueke as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho, while former Arsenal player Chuks Aneke joined Birmingham City on a two-year deal.
In other transfer rumours, Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Victor Osimhen as a potential replacement for Harry Kane, but the Nigerian international and Napoli have an understanding that he’s not going anywhere.
Meanwhile, Sadiq Umar is also a transfer target for several clubs in Europe after a brilliant campaign with Almeria.
Henry Onyekuru is on the verge of rejoining Galatasaray from Monaco despite interest from Greek Champions Olympiacos.
Taiwo Awoniyi could also leave Liverpool permanently with many clubs in the Championship interested in his services.
Paul Onuachu has also been linked with a big-money move to Watford. The 27-year-old is expected to leave Genk after a record-breaking season, and Watford are among the clubs monitoring his situation.
Watford are not the only Premier League club interested in his services, as Arsenal are also reportedly monitoring his situation.
The Gunners are considering signing the former Midtjylland striker as a potential replacement for Eddie Nketiah.
Meanwhile, Kelechi Iheanacho could leave Leicester City even though he just signed a new contract that keeps at the club until 2024.
The Foxes just signed Patson Daka from RB Salzburg, which increases competition for places in Leicester’s attack. Leicester could also consider selling the Nigerian to recoup part of the money they spent on Daka.
In Spain, reports say that La Liga champions Atletico Madrid could make cash plus a player offer to Villarreal for the services of Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze.
Chukwueze has a 100m euros release clause, but Los Rojiblancos hope to pay less and offer a player to the Yellow Submarines.
In other transfer news, Nigerian youngster Keleb Nwubani has signed his first professional contract with German side TuS Erndtebrück in the Oberliga Westfalen.
Nwubani expressed his delight at the new deal in a post on his Instagram page.
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