BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star Marvelous Nakamba failed to pitch up at Club Brugge’s training ground yesterday with reports from Belgium suggesting that he is trying to force a move away amid interest from English Premier League returnees Aston Villa and German’s Bundesliga side Cologne.
Villa, who are returning to the Premiership this season after winning promotion, are understood to have made an £8 million offer to Brugge for the midfielder, which the Belgian league side turned down. They want more.
But Nakamba, who was due at training yesterday wants to make the deal happen and has reportedly stayed away to force a transfer.
It is not clear yet where he is heading, with media reports in German suggesting that he was close to joining Cologne, while in England they are saying he will be a Villa player soon.
German’s largest tabloid newspaper Bild yesterday carried an interview with the former Bantu Rovers star, where he is confirming his desire to play for Cologne.
“I want to leave Bruges and prove myself in the Bundesliga with FC Cologne,” Nakamba is quoted saying.
But despite the Cologne confession, Nakamba yesterday followed Aston Villa on its Instagram, in addition to the official
Premier League channel, which fuelled speculation in England that he was heading for the Birmingham-based club.
Aston Villa are said to have made a €10m offer for the midfielder and he feels the Belgian side have “disrespected” him by not accepting it.
Aston Villa signed Wesley Moraes from Club Brugge earlier this summer, and soon after that deal there were claims in Belgium that the Premier League new boys could return for his former teammate.
The reports say Nakamba “will do everything” to make the transfer happen, and that possibly includes going on strike.
The 25-year-old arrived at Club Brugge for just £3 million from Vitesse Arnhem in the summer of 2017, and instantly made
a mark by helping the club to the league title, and qualification into the UEFA Champions League.
An impressive show followed in the Champions League with solid performances, particularly against Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
Inevitably, teams from major leagues came knocking for his signature. Premiership giants Liverpool were linked with him last year, while reports suggest that Crystal Palace and Watford made offers which were turned down by Club Brugge who promised their player could only move this summer if a good offer came.
Now that another offer has come through, Nakamba feel the Belgians are “flip-flopping” their stance on the transfer. He is one of several high profile footballers this summer not to have turned up for preseason as they look to force transfers.
Meanwhile, Warriors striker Nyasha Mushekwi has left Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang, now coached by former Liverpool and Newcastle United boss Rafa Benítez, to join Zhejiang Greentown in the Chinese Division One league.
Mushekwi (31), spent three successful seasons with Dalian Yifang, finishing as the team’s top goalscorer in every campaign.
He made 91 league appearances for Yifang, scoring 53 times, while registering 12 assists. Reports from China yesterday suggested that Mushekwi has been dropped down a division for Newcastle striker Solomon Rondon, who is expected to reunite with his former boss Benitez.
Both Nakamba and Mushekwi played for the Warriors at the Africa Cup of Nations, but their campaigns were ravaged by injuries, which saw the former playing in one game, the opening match against hosts Egypt.
Mushekwi limped off the opener and then missed the second match against Uganda. He came back as a second half substitute against the Democratic Republic of Congo, but could not help his side who were hammered 4-0 to crash out of the competition in the group stage.