IN DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzanian champions Young Africans have opened talks to sign AFC Leopards winger Allan Kateregga, Nation Sport can confirm.
The Ugandan seems to have impressed the Yanga bosses when Leopards eliminated the Tanzanian giants in the SportPesa Super Cup semi-final at Uhuru Stadium on Thursday. Leopards beat Yanga 5-4 on post-match penalties, after the teams drew 0-0 in regular time, but his displays both on the left and right flanks forced were impressive.
The match was watched by Yanga Secretary General Charles Boniface Mkwasa who was impressed by the dreadlocked midfielder. Mkwasa was however, non-committal on how far the negotiations have reached.
“Coach Lwandamina (George) proposed positions to be filled before he went for holiday. We are currently working on his recommendations. I watched Kateregga (Allan) play against us. He is a quality player, speedy and with an eye for goal,” Mkwasa said.
“For now, I can’t divulge more concerning our signings before the transfer window opens on 15th June.”
When reached for a comment after Saturday’s training session at Karume Stadium ahead of the tournament’s final against eternal rivals Gor Mahia, Kateregga confirmed of the interest.
“It’s true we are in talks. They did approach me but I requested them to hold on until we are done with the final,” said the Ugandan.
“If we reach an agreement, why not? It’s even better that I am still on contract hence a chance for my team to benefit from the transfer as well,” he added.
However, Leopards chairman Dan Mule, who is with the club in Tanzania, denied any knowledge of an impending move for the player, even as he refused to discuss his contractual situation.
"I have not spoken to anyone regarding any of my players, and I do not intend to, at least until we finish what we came to do here, which is to win the title. Discussing that at this point ahead of a big final is a distraction," Mule told Nation Sport.
Yanga, who clinched the 2016/17 Vodacom Premier League, have seven foreign players namely Haruna Niyonzima (Rwanda), Amissi Tambwe (Burundi), Vincent Bossou (Togo), Justin Zulu and Obrey Chirwa (Zambia) and Zimbabwean duo Thabani Kamusoko and Donald Ngoma.
Apart from Zulu and Chirwa, all the other five players’ contracts expire at the end of the month.
Niyonzima is rumoured to be crossing over to Yanga’s bitter rivals Simba SC.
Additional reporting by David Kwalimwa