Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce have jumped to the front of the queue to sign Leicester City and Arsenal target Oghenekaro Etebo from Portuguese side Feirense.
The combative midfielder, who is expected to start for the Super Eagles against Senegal’s Teranga Lions in their friendly affair in London on Thursday, has been in sensational form for Feirense, becoming a cult hero at the 5,401-capacity Estádio Marcolino de Castro since his arrival from Warri Wolves in 2015.
Etebo, who has been likened to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba for his creativity and combativeness, has been linked with Premier League holders Leicester and struggling Arsenal for a summer transfer.
But reports in the Turkish media claimed that Fenerbahce met with the player and his agent in the Eagles’ Crowne Plaza Hotel camp in London on Wednesday and that the result was positive.
Some sections of the media in the European country had reported that Fenerbahce’s representatives would meet with Etebo this month.
According to Fotospor, the Yellow Canaries’ representative Hasan Cetinkaya told Etebo the plans they had for him and urged the 21-year-old to join up with his compatriot Emmanuel Emenike, who has resurrected his career since he returned to the Istanbul giants after a bad loan spell at West Ham.
Turkish Football said Etebo’s agent met with Fenerbahce and agreed a deal in principle, adding that the Fenerbahce only needed to strike a deal with Feirense before a contract can be agreed.
Etebo became one of the hottest properties in Europe after helping Nigeria win bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The player, who was instrumental in the Eagles Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying victories over Zambia (2-1 in Ndola) and Algeria (3-1 in Uyo) last year, has provided one assist and scored one goal in 15 league appearances this season for Feirense.
Meanwhile, Enugu State Football Association Chairman Chidi Offor-Okenwa has advised the Eagles to approach their match against Senegal and Bukina Faso with determination.
Offor-Okenwa told the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Wednesday that the two friendly matches were international games which still needed to be played with seriousness.
Offor-Okenwa commended Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr for inviting new players.
He said, “The invitation of new players shows that there are discoveries and it is left for players to capitalise on the opportunity and cement their stay in the team.
“There are specialists in every area. So, the technical crew knows better and they know that the players will do the job for them.
“As for me, invitation of players for the two matches was on merit and based on the coaches’ game plan.”