BY HENRY MHARA
WARRIORS star Marvelous Nakamba is set to be confirmed as an Aston Villa player today after his Belgian side Club Brugge agreed a fee with the English Premiership side for the midfielder.
Media reports in England yesterday suggested that the two clubs had agreed a fee in the region of £12-£15 million.
Villa is based in Birmingham, and the city’s main newspaper BirminghamLive yesterday posted a graphic picture of Marvelous Nakamba in an Aston Villa jersey on
their website, an indication that the deal was imminent.
Villa initially offered £10 million which was turned down by Brugge, but it appears the Dean Smith-coached club, who made Nakamba’s capture a top priority this
summer, increased the offer and a deal was concluded.
Reports on social media yesterday suggested that the 25-year-old had already signed for the league returnees, but NewsDaySport can reveal that Nakamba is only
scheduled to travel to England today for his medicals.
His handlers told this publication that Nakamba was still in Belgium yesterday where he was waiting for his Visa to travel to London to complete the move,
subject to passing the medicals.
If the move materialises as is hugely-expected, he will become the fifth Zimbabwean after Bruce Grobbelaar, Peter Ndlovu, Benjani Mwaruwari and Tendayi Darikwa
to play in the English Premiership, regarded as the best football league in the world.
“The deal is almost done, and Nakamba should be a Villa player before end of day tomorrow (today),” one of his handlers said.
“There has been a lot of wrong information on the internet concerning the move. The truth is we are still in Belgium waiting for our Visas to travel to England for his medicals and to sign the contract,” the source added.
Responding to the reports that the player had already signed, the source said: “Its just social media, no deal has been signed yet. A lot of things have been
said on social media and on the internet, with the player linked with a lot of teams, but that’s social media for you. Remember they even said he was AWOL, but the truth is his club knows what is happening. Nakamba is not AWOL and that is the reason Club Brugge has not said anything because they know his situation and
what is happening. Nakamba is very professional and will not do anything like that to jeopardise his career.”
It was previously reported that Nakamba boycotted returning to Brugge after the African Cup of Nations in order to force a move to Villa.
The Warriors star has been one of Villa’s priority targets this summer with the club determined to build a strong squad after winning promotion via the
Championship play-off final, and has already broken the transfer record by signing Nakamba’s former Brugge team-mates Wesley Moraes and Bjorn Engels
They have also completed the £8,75 million signing of Egypt international Trezeguet earlier this week and Nakamba’s arrival will take the club’s summer
spending over the £100 million mark.
Manchester City midfielder Douglas Luiz, is also poised to sign for Villa for £15 million, with the club still waiting on a work permit for the under-23
Nakamba arrived at Club Brugge for just £3 million from Holland’s Vitesse Arnhem club 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.
German league side FC Cologne reportedly put a formal bid for Nakamba last month, but it was way below Brugge’s valuation of their star. Nakamba also preferred
a move to the more lucrative English Premiership.