NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 6- A tussle is expected between arch rivals Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards over the signature of youngster Vincent Oburu with both clubs saying the Under-20 star has penned a contract with them.
A highly placed source at Gor Mahia has intimated that the forward who starred for the Ingwe Cubs during the Kenyan Premier League Under-20 championship in December is among the new players roped in at K’Ogalo, but AFC on their side say the player has signed a contract with the seniors.
“As far as I am concerned, Oburu signed a three-year deal with us and we even have the documents which we will be presenting to Kenyan Premier League (KPL) and Football Kenya Federation,” AFC Leopards Secretary General Oscar Igaida told Capital Sport.
But Gor insist the player is under no contract and is in the process of signing a four year deal alongside Gor Under-20 skipper Alpha Onyango.
Oburu scored four goals for the Ingwe Cubs in their run up to the final and head coach Boniface Ambani confirmed that indeed he had penned a long term contract with the seniors.
Meanwhile, Gor has plucked another gem off AFC Leopards’ wings, signing winger John ‘Softie’ Ndirangu on a three year deal.
Ndirangu joined AFC in June last year from Kariobangi Sharks where he had moved to after leaving Nakuru All Stars in 2015.
Also joining Gor is another youngster Oliver Maloba from Nairobi City Stars, left-back Mike Simiyu from Muhoroni Youth, goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji and midfielder Philemon Otieno from Ushuru FC, midfielder Teddy Osok from Nairobi Stima and striker Jeckonia Uyoga from Technical University.
At the same, the club has an agreement with KPL midfielder of the year Kenneth Muguna and he is expected to join the team if his proposed move to the Austrian second division does not go through.
Also lined up for the record 15-time league champions are defenders Joash Onyango from Western Stima and Bernard Ochieng from Nzoia United.
-Nizigiyimana extend contract-
Meanwhile, Karim Nizigiyimana has penned a new two-year contract with the club after the expiry of his initial deal last December.
For his former Rayon Sport team mate Abouba Sibomana though, there will be no new deal on the table with Rayon interested in taking him back.
Sibomana, who struggled for playing time last season despite impressing in his debut season in 2015, will be ‘sacrificed’ to give way for his national teammate Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza who joins as a free agent on a two year deal.
The club has also dropped eight players to make room for the new faces coming in.
Jacob Keli, the 2015 Golden Boot winner is among those axed after struggling to impress since joining the side in June last year. Also dropped is the goalkeeping duo of Gradus Ochieng and Sammy Okinda as well as Bernard Odhiambo, Ronald Omino, Crispin Odula, Luke Ochieng and Jackson Saleh.
Gor resume training on January 10 and are set for a pre-season camp in Sudan and a friendly match against Uganda’s Onduparaka FC at the end of the month.
“We have an invitation from Al Hilal. We will travel to Sudan on January 13 and train for three days before playing them (Hilal) in a friendly match on 17th. We will then travel back to train at home and we will play our final high profile pre-season friendly against Uganda’s Onduparaka probably on the 28th of January,” Team Manager Jolawi Obondo said.
Gor are looking to recapture the KPL title after losing it to Tusker FC last season, having dominated for three straight years.