World Football Transfer Rumors: 10 African Players Who May Be on the Move
If there's one thing the latest round of transfer gossip has showed us, it's that there are a lot of really super-talented African internationals playing in Europe. And quite a few of them are hot prospects for the next couple of transfer windows.
Here are 10 top African players who may be on the move soon, either in January or during the summer.
As always, these transfer stories are still pretty speculative, so some of the reports should be taken at their worth. If you have any thoughts on where you'd like to see these players end up, as always, have at it in the comments.
Seydou Keita (Barcelona)
The Malian international has seen a host of domestic and European titles with FC Barcelona and led the team in appearances last year. According to a report from GiveMeFootball, Keita says he's happy at Camp Nou, but would consider a move to see more time on the pitch.
Among the clubs rumored to be courting Keita, according to the GMF report, include wealthy Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, where Keita's former Barça teammate Samuel Eto'o is currently making bank, and Liverpool, which is potentially looking to increase their defensive midfield options and add someone in the rotation for that position alongside Lucas Leiva.
According to Sky Sports, Keita's contract will expire next summer, and following the January window, he will renegotiate his terms with Barcelona. If an agreement cannot be reached, Liverpool, Anzhi and others may prepare to pounce.
Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City)
The versatile Nigerian-born English defender is most often employed as a centre-back, and since he has to compete with the likes of Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott for playing time, staying at Manchester City does not bode particularly well for his career.
Onuoha spent the last season on a loan spell at Sunderland, and since his return to the Etihad, he's spent most of his time on the sidelines. As such, a number of other English Premier League clubs are looking to bolster their defensive ranks and bring on Onuoha, including West Bromwich Albion, Blackburn Rovers and Queens Park Rangers, according to a report from the Manchester Evening News.
The 25-year-old, a graduate of Manchester City's academy, has made just one appearance for the Citizens this season in the Carling Cup, and QPR boss Neil Warnock is reportedly planning to offer the club £3.5 million for Onuoha.
Moussa Sow (OSC Lille)
The Senegalese striker, who was Ligue 1's top scorer in 2010, has helped Lille climb to third in the table as they seek back-to-back French league titles, but his future with the club is reportedly in flux.
Sow's contract at the Stade Metropole expires in 2013, and according to a report from Supersport, he has considered a departure for the Premier League or La Liga depending how his contract talks go.
One possible move for Sow would be to Tottenham Hotspur in a player swap for out-of-favor striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who will be likely leaving White Hart Lane for a club that will give him more playing time ahead of Euro 2012.
Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese)
The quick-thinking, tough-tackling Ghanaian midfielder played in every match through the Black Stars' impressive run in the 2010 World Cup and has become a fixture at Udinese with his strength and ball control.
Earlier this month, Manchester United, looking to bolster their midfield and in particular for a holding midfielder come January, named Asamoah as a potential transfer prospect in the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Asamoah, who was named the Most Promising African Player in 2010, is reportedly rated by the Little Zebras at about £8 million.
Emmanuel Adebayor (Tottenham Hotspur)
Emmanuel Adebayor has proved to be a great asset over the course of his loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur, scoring a number of key goals, including a brace in this weekend's victory over West Bromwich Albion.
However, Spurs' Adebayor-influenced joy may not last as long as supporters may have hoped, as the club may not be able to foot the bill to keep him at White Hart Lane. The striker has said he will not stay with Spurs if the club requires him to take a pay cut to seal his place on the team.
As Adebayor was quoted in The Telegraph:
We all play football to get money. I’m from Africa and I have to give something back to my community. I will keep doing this until the end of my career.
I’ll leave it to Harry Redknapp, [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy and [City chairman] Khaldoon Al Mubarak to find a solution among themselves. For me, what is important is to enjoy myself on the pitch.
Manchester City will reportedly take a £15 million fee to make an Adebayor move permanent, and in addition to Spurs, the Metro says Liverpool are considering a bid for the striker as the Andy Carroll-Luis Suárez partnership has still proved unable to jell. Should the Reds finish in the top four and qualify for European play, the report says, they may have a shot in bringing Adebayor over.
Mapou Yanga-M'biwa (Montpellier)
Mapou Yanga-M'biwa has impressed with a string of outstanding performances on the back line for Ligue 1 club Montpellier with his skillful, precise tackling. He has reportedly been on the radar for a number of top-flight European clubs, including Arsenal and Bayern Munich, and is now emerging as a serious target for Newcastle United.
Alan Pardew has seen success with past arrivals from Ligue 1, among them Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.
Yanga-M'biwa has admitted he's been learning English "just in case" and that he would love the chance to play Premiership football, telling France Football:
That is true that for me, England is something incredible. This is a championship for me with a lot of physical contact, it is my game and what I like.
But in this country they live only for football. I want to discover it one day. Score a goal at Old Trafford and slide on the pitch, [it] would be enormous.
Seydou Doumbia (CSKA Moscow)
The striker, whose price tag has reportedly set at £35 million by CSKA, has had a solid showing in the Russian Premier League and impressed in Champions League competition.
Although he's got first-team status and European play, he's been open about his eventual Premier League ambitions. Earlier this month, he told Arsene Wenger and Arsenal to come after him if they were interested.
As he was quoted in a report from SportsMole:
From childhood I’ve dreamed of England, but CSKA plays at a very high level. I’m very happy here. If Arsenal want to buy me, they must first talk to CSKA, then perhaps I’ll be allowed to go.
Manchester City is also reportedly interested in Doumbia, as is Tottenham Hotspur, a club Doumbia says he finds particularly appealing due to Harry Redknapp being held in high regard among African players.
He told Sky Sports the reporters are all "paper talk" for now and he's enjoying his work in the Russian Premier League and the opportunity for European competition, but he does have his sights set on England for the future.
Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United)
Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew expressed concern in a report from Mirror Football about the possibility of other clubs looking to his on-fire Magpies with hefty bids in the January window.
One name that has come up is Ivorian defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote, whom Chelsea are reportedly looking to bring on with a £20 million January bid.
After impressing at St. James' Park in his debut season, Tiote signed a contract in February keeping him at Newcastle until the 2016-2017 season, which means the big clubs will have to cough up serious cash to sign him.
Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
Will he leave Chelsea or won't he? He probably won't, according to the most recent reports, which suggest the veteran striker will extend his contract with the Stamford Bridge outfit for another year. However, that won't keep a number of clubs from trying to get him.
Last week, the Mirror reported that the Los Angeles Galaxy of the MLS were rumored to be interested in bringing on Drogba as a marquee replacement for David Beckham, should he leave for Paris Saint-Germain, to the tune of £5 million a year.
Chris Samba (Blackburn Rovers)
The Blackburn Rovers captain is one of the Premier League's best defenders and far and away the Ewood Park outfit's best player. But as Blackburn flounders at the bottom of the Premiership table, the dominant centre-back could be swayed with a move to a more prestigious club, and could make a serious impact there, too.
Arsenal had expressed interest in bringing on Samba last January, but with the signing and settling of Per Mertesacker and the return of Thomas Vermaelen, the club's central defense has improved.
Now, according to the People, Liverpool leads the pack to sign Samba for a reported £10 million, and Tottenham Hotspur are also interested.