NOT FOR SALE

AFC Leopards slap 'not for sale' tag on youngster

Leopards promoted the youngster to the senior team in April last year.

In Summary

•Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda maintained that the national U20 player had a lengthy contract with the club, and were yet to receive a transfer bid.

•Shikanda revealed that they will only accept bids from European clubs as a way of ushering the player to the next level.

Austine Odhiambo dribbles past Gor Mahia's Jackson Owusu and Boniface Omondi in a past Mashemeji Derby duel
Austine Odhiambo dribbles past Gor Mahia's Jackson Owusu and Boniface Omondi in a past Mashemeji Derby duel
Image: COURTESY

AFC Leopards insist creative midfielder Austine Odhiambo is not for sale to local teams despite being heavily linked to a move to Gor Mahia.

Odhiambo, who was arguably the outstanding player at the den in the just ended season, was said to have switched allegiance to the 'Green Army'  but Ingwe have clawed back,rubbishing the reports as rumours.

Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda maintained that the national U20 player had a lengthy contract with the club, and were yet to receive a transfer bid.

Shikanda said the player will not be sold to a club deemed as a rival regardless of the money they are willing to fork out.

He said they will only accept bids from European clubs as a way of ushering the player to the next level, adding that after the reports, he approached Odhiambo who assured him that he is not going anywhere.

Leopards promoted the youngster to the senior team in April last year. He was part of the Rising Stars team which scooped silver during last year's Cecafa U20 championships held in Uganda.

"He is not for sale and if we have to do it, then we will send him to Europe. Our first business is playing football and winning trophies and this will only remain a dream if we make mistakes by strengthening our direct rivals by allowing them access to our best talents," said Shikanda.

"Even if local clubs table hard-to-ignore bids,we will turn them down for there is no difference between them and us.If we have to release him,then we will export him to a league which is way above ours for the sake of his growth."

He added: "I have talked to the player and he is not willing to leave despite delaying his salaries for a month. His contract expires in 2023 and any club interested in him should respect the terms and the transfer procedures," he assured.

Meanwhile, Shikanda called out the perpetrators of the reports for destabilising the player and vouching for his move without contacting his office and before the window opens.

"They should cease forthwith since their actions are destabilising him. He is a young player who needs guidance rather than setting him against fans who wish to see him around. The transfer window is not open yet and those who want to do business should wait for the dates to be announced," he said.