With few hours left of the January transfer window, teams across Europe are looking to add the finishing touches to their squad. While Super Eagles vice-captain William Troost-Ekong, Yira Sor, Ogenyi Onazi have all secured exciting moves this window, THE PUNCH takes a look at some players who could still make deadline day moves
Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough)
Southampton’s potential £7m move for Middlesbrough striker Akpom appears to be off with the two clubs failing to agree on the terms of a deal, but with the player keen to move to the Premier League and negotiations ongoing between now and deadline day.
Akpom scored his 14th Championship goal (15th goal of the season) last weekend to help Middlesbrough return to winning ways and leapfrog Watford after they beat their fellow promotion-chasers to third in the Championship table.
Everton and Crystal Palace have also been linked with a move for the English forward of Nigerian descent, who has indicated his desire to represent Nigeria at senior level.
Paul Onuachu (Genk)
For the seventh transfer window in a row, Onuachu has been linked with a move away from Genk despite his goal-scoring heroics for the club.
After he was crowned goals king of Belgium two seasons ago, Onuachu is currently the leading scorer in the league with 16 league goals in 19 appearances for the Limburg side.
It remains to be seen if West Ham, Eintracht Frankfurt and Olympique Lyon, who are all interested in the Nigerian striker valued €15m by Transfermarkt, will make another late offer after Genk reportedly rejected a €12m offer by the Hammers in December. Onuachu is Genk’s second all-time top scorer with 85 goals in 134 games.
Francis Uzoho (Moonier)
Uzoho, Nigeria’s most in-form goalkeeper according to statistics website Tranfermarkt, is another player who may switch clubs before the January deadline day closes today.
The goalie is seen as a possible replacement for Stade de Reims’ Patrick Pentz, who is on the verge of completing a move to Major League Soccer club Colorado Rapids.
The Eagles shot stopper, who has kept more clean sheets (eight) than any of his compatriots in Europe this season, is reportedly keen on an exit this winter as his current deal lapses in the summer.
Josh Maja (Bordeaux)
Maja has seen his stock rise tremendously following his resurgence in Ligue 2 with Bordeaux. The one-cap Nigeria international, who leads the scorers chat with 11 goals from 20 appearances, is on the radar of Premier League club Fulham and Spanish topflight side Real Valladolid. The 24-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, is in talks with the Cottagers, who are desperate for a cover for Aleksandar Mitrovic, who is the club’s top scorer with 11 goals from 17 EPL games.
Maduka Okoye (Watford)
Okoye has been tipped to follow the footsteps of William Troost-Ekong by leaving Watford this transfer window due to his inactiveness since he joined the club in the summer. The Nigerian goalie, capped 16 times by Nigeria, is yet to make his debut for the Hornets in the Championship despite making two starts in cup competitions – the Carabao Cup and FA Cup— where he conceded two goals in each game.
The 23-year-old has been linked with a move back to the Eredivisie, while a move back to the Bundesliga 2 has also been mooted, according to reports.
Joe Aribo (Southampton)
After a bright start to his Premier League career with Southampton, Aribo has been linked away from Saint Marys after his form dipped following the arrival of new manager Nathan Jones.
The Nigerian midfielder took the EPL by storm, scoring against Leeds and Everton in his first eight games for the club. But ever since his last goal against the Toffees last October, he has not scored, made an assist or had a hand in the goals Southampton have scored. He has been strongly linked with a loan move back to Glasgow Rangers as he has found regular playing time hard to come since Jones replaced Ralph Hassenuttl.
Bright Osayi-Samuel (Fenerbache)
English Premier League clubs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth have made late moves to sign Fenerbahce defender Osayi-Samuel.
Following an impressive debut season in Turkey, Fenerbahce are demanding £12m for the wing-back they signed for €500,000 in January 2021.
The Fanatik also revealed that the Cherries will make another offer including bonuses for the Nigerian international.
Osayi-Samuel is yet to recover from the injury he suffered an injury in Fenerbahçe’s Ziraat Turkish Cup match at home to Çaykur Rizespor in December.
The 25-year-old has settled in well at Istanbul with the first team and has featured in 27 appearances in all competitions for the Yellow Canaries this campaign.
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