Greek top club, AEK Athens, failed in a last ditch bid to prise away Nigerian midfielder, Obinna Nwobodo, from Goztepe of Turkey as the transfer window closed on Monday night, but will return in the summer for the deal, Completesports has been told.
The 30-time champions of Greece had shot to the top of the pile amongst a plethora of European clubs that have shown interest in Nwobodo following his spectacular season at Goztepe. However, they were discouraged from making a bid for the player by his agents. A $2m (about N1b) bid for Nwobodo from American M.L.S club, F.C Cincinnati, in early January had collapsed at the very last minute.
Vincent Alumona of Krakovia Sports Limited, a registered Intermediary with the Nigeria Football Federation, N.F.F. who is the advisor to the former Rangers International of Enugu playmaker, explains the transfer bid frenzy.
“AEK were very determined, as it turned out,” Alumona told Completesports
“They had been in the picture for Obinna for quite a while but it was Cincinnati that made the first move for the player. And after weeks of negotiations ended with the player deciding to remain with Goztepe so he can help them through their struggle against relegation, it became quite clear that a transfer for the player in this winter transfer window was off the cards.”
He added: “So, when AEK became serious a couple of days to the closure of the window, we advised that they shouldn’t bother with a bid. Moreover, they had $1.5m (about N800m) in mind as transfer fee. If a transfer couldn’t go through after Goztepe agreed to take $2m(about N1b) from Cincinnati, how can it happen for $1.5m (about N800m)?
“Anyway, money isn’t the issue per se. It has to do more with principles. The player doesn’t want to abandon the ship, so to say.”
Despite being shown the ‘red card’, Completesports.com learned that AEK would go on to improve their offer for Nwobodo, and later on Monday night, presented a proposal to the Goztepe President to pay $2m (about N1m) to complete the transfer and another $1m (N500m) in add- ons, totalling $3m (about N1.5m).
This was however rejected as both clubs and player had earlier resolved to push all transfer matters to the summer, when the season would have ended.